We were sitting on the patio when the two of them swooped towards the pool. Fortunately they spotted that the inviting blue water was actually the pool cover and activated their air brakes just in time.
The male wheeled off and headed over the wall into the neighbouring garden, but the female landed gracefully on the lawn and began waddling around.
She inspected the pool cover suspiciously, then flopped down on its bubblewrap-like surface and made her way to the small area of water still showing in the shallow entry pool where she paddled quite happily.
Refreshed from her dip, she then got out and went on an inspection tour of the garden. She seemed a little nervous of us, but not too much as she walked round the pool to inspect the uncovered spa pool.
By now she was making herself at home, dipping her head in the water and then jumping out to preen her feathers in the sunshine.
Her toilet completed to her satisfaction, she then wandered off onto the other lawn where she seemed to settle down for a nap. In fact, she was laying an egg.
Her maternal duty done, she then set about inspecting her new home, not minding a bit that she had an audience of four.
Ant did some Google research and found out that she is likely to lay between six and twelve eggs over the next week or so and she wouldn’t start incubating them until they are all laid.
She had a good tour of the garden and especially liked the shade of one of the palms where she could dig around for grubs and insects to her hearts content.
After a couple of hours, she appeared quite content and I think Ant was looking forward to the idea of helping to teach a clutch of ducklings to swim in the pool, but it may not happen.
She headed east and was soon just a speck in the distance. She might return to her egg,, of course, but there has been no sign of her since.
I suppose we’ll give her the rest of today and if she doesn’t reappear, we can always Google how long you should boil a duck egg for.