A FAMILY of ducks nesting on a balcony in Shawlands have made a perilous journey through the neighborhood.
A few years ago, Theresa Clancy and her husband Vincent found themselves the unlikely roommates of a duck when they moved into their property on Trefoil Avenue.
Since then, every spring, they anxiously watch the family descend a three-storey drop and take the busy road from Kilmarnock to reach the River Cart.
A video shows a mother duck, with seven chicks in tow, as they quack on the sidewalk, guided by locals.
While nine eggs hatched this year, initially it looked like only seven of the clutches reached the river.
But after much trepidation, it has emerged that the nine ducklings are now safe, thanks to residents going out of their way to help them on their annual migration.
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Theresa said: “It’s amazing but also nerve wracking and a relief when they finally get to the river.
“We are counting on neighbours, passers-by and also [nearby pet shop] Fur’n’Feathers for their help in bringing them to the river.
While most ducks choose a spot hidden by vegetation or in a tree hole, according to the RSPB, these mallards have been nesting in the balcony for more than a decade.
After flying, the mother duck waits for her chicks to drop once they hatch from their eggs.
The couple leave the animals alone, but they like to provide water and put bricks in place to help them make the jump.
The ducks have captured the hearts of locals and their parade has become something of an event, with locals stopping traffic to ensure they reach their destination safely.
This year two ducklings got lost after hatching, but luckily locals stepped in to help.
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Fur’n’Feathers owners George and Janice rescued one of the broods that was left in a garden.
The couple initially thought the duckling was dead and took him home to give him a proper burial.
But to their surprise, the little creature, named Alba after Theresa’s granddaughter, made a quick recovery and they are now considering adopting her from a duck-loving friend.
George said: ‘This little one is settling in with us at home as he was left behind and nearly died.
“Mom had to take care of the rest of the clutch, so the little thing was cold and still and looked like it had an injured leg.
“We actually made the decision to remove the duckling and bury it in our garden, but on the [15 minutes’ journey home] under the warmth of my wife’s hands, he began to show signs of life.
“We are jubilant. We named it Alba after the youngest member of the public who helped chaperone the Trefoil Avenue family in River Cart.
“If it hadn’t been for Theresa and her husband Vincent, we might have missed this wonderful opportunity.
“This event has been going on for a few years now and we are still looking forward to the first days of May.”
According to social media, the ninth duckling is also safe and sound in the hands of the SSPCA, after another resident found him wondering around the neighborhood.