A DELIGHTED South Side woman has unexpectedly found herself the guardian of a very unusual duck.

Theresa Clancy moved into her new flat in Shawlands a couple of weeks ago to find herself sharing a home with a mother duck who has become something of a local celebrity.

Glasgow Times:

The mallard builds her nest, like many of her species, in a high-up place. Where most take to trees to give birth, she occupies a balcony in Trefoil Avenue.

After flying down, she waits for her chicks to make the three-storey drop once they have hatched from their eggs.

Glasgow Times:

She then makes her way down the street, onto Kilmarnock Road and makes a daring crossing, ducklings in tow, with the help of concerned locals who stop traffic, across the road to enter the water on her preferred bank of the Cart.

The duck encouraged her offspring to follow her onto the city streets on Friday by “quacking like mad” from the ground, said Theresa.

Glasgow Times:

“The ducklings follow her down and one-by-one jumped off the balcony. Most of them landed in the wee garden in front of the flat and a couple landed on the pavement and you could see they were winded.”

A video shot by the 63-year-old’s daughter last week shows the nine brave ducklings recovering quickly from their fall.

Glasgow Times:

The duck – or another who has since sadly died – has been nesting in the same spot every year for around a decade and her annual migration is a locally-known event for the people of Shawlands, who go out of their way to help her get to the river safely.

“There were a lot of people shepherding them by the time she crossed Kilmarnock Road,” said Theresa.

“People stopped the traffic and others stopped to watch the whole show.

“There were others trying to keep them away from drains because that’s a hazard for them – they could fall straight through.”

It is uncommon but not unheard of for ducks to make such an unusual nesting spot in a city.

Expert advice

“Nesting on a balcony is actually quite a smart move by this particular mother duck,” said Paul Walton, the Scottish RSPB’s head of habitats and species.

“Nesting on the ground, she and her eggs would have been vulnerable to predators like cats and rats, and disturbance from people. The balcony is a safe place where she can incubate her eggs in peace.”

He warned people not to disturb nesting birds or their young chicks but said it was “heartening” to see people help the mother duck to the water.

Paul added: “If you are lucky enough to have ducks or any other bird make a nest in your garden or balcony, remember it is an offence to disturb them, so please keep your distance and avoid any activity which might disrupt eggs or chicks. A guide on what to do if you find a baby bird out of the nest can be found on the RSPB website.”