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Duck sitting pretty in ready-made nest

PUBLISHED: 14:35 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:29 03 July 2010

Unexpected guest: George Ottley keeps an eye on the mallard duck in a hanging basket in his garden.

Unexpected guest: George Ottley keeps an eye on the mallard duck in a hanging basket in his garden.

She's put all her eggs in one basket - but its 5ft off ground.

George and Lindy Ottley returned home to Belton from a holiday in Spain to find an early Easter surprise - this mallard duck sitting pretty in her ready-made nest.

She's put all her eggs in one basket - but its 5ft off ground.

George and Lindy Ottley returned home to Belton from a holiday in Spain to find an early Easter surprise - this mallard duck sitting pretty in her ready-made nest.

Now the couple of Station Road South, are keeping a close eye on their guest.

Retired army major Mr Ottley said: “We hadn't been home long and I went outside to check the garage. My neighbour was banging on the window and said 'you have a squatter'. I started to look around the garden when she asked me to check my hanging basket.”

“I was quite amazed. It's not often you find a duck has set up home in your garden.”

Mr Ottley, 63, said the duck has taken a liking to watching his wife cook in the kitchen.

“On Tuesday night we actually had duck for tea and I think the poor mallard was worried it was her cousin in the oven,” he said.

Although they don't know exactly how long the duck has been resident in the swaying basket neighbours say she has been darting off for her morning feed for the last couple of weeks.

“I don't think she has thought the move through because there is no way her chicks will be able to get out. Once they've hatched we will put the basket on the ground and put some protection around it so she can get the chicks out safely,” added Mr Ottley.

Over the years the Mercury has reported on all sorts of odd nesting sites including a roller coaster, next to thundering traffic on the Acle Straight and in a window box. Have you spotted any birds choosing to bring up their broods in peculiar places? If so let us know.

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