Mum duck returns to pub planter to nest for third year in a row

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A MOTHER duck has returned back to a planter at a pub to nest in and have ducklings for the third year in a row.

The adorable bird, known fondly as Rita, has chosen the Waterfront Inn in Diss, South Norfolk to nest in for the past three years – each time choosing a different planter.

Rita lays her eggs and protects them in the nest for around six weeks until her flock of ducklings hatch.

You can barely see Rita nestled in the bed - Animal News UK
Rita nests every year in the pub’s planter.                                                                                     (C) The Waterfront Inn

Images show Rita nestled amongst the flower beds showing her wings protruding from vibrant orange and yellow flowers. 

All of the plant pots are located on the decking near pub benches and overlooking the water.

In a further away image, Rita is barely visible as she buries herself into the planter away from from view.

The pub has placed a plastic tub filled with water next to Rita’s nesting ground for her to stay hydrated.

Rita the duck nesting in the flower bed - Animal News UK
The pub make customers aware of the feathered guest.                                                                   (C) The Waterfront Inn

Speaking today Jessika Carpenter, team leader at the pub, said: “She comes back every year, each year she has moved to a different spot on our decking. 

“We have had to hold off swapping the flower box she’s in, the orange flowers were our winter ones, so we’ve had to just keep the pink box to one side till she’s finished. 

“She has nine eggs in her nest. All our staff have known about her but anyone who sits on that table near her doesn’t notice her at first as she’s quite hidden.

“If you’re not looking at the boxes you won’t notice her.

The flower bed which the duck nests in- Animal News UK
Rita’s home in the pub.                                                                                                                 (C) The Waterfront Inn

“She’s been three years in a row now, last year in the herb garden and the year before in a stand alone pot with flowers in.” 

Punters have praised the pub for looking out for local wildlife.

Marie Shears said: “Nice to see her back again for another year.”

While Abbie Carpenter joked to leave her alone when visiting the pub: “Or you’ll get bit.”

The staff at the pub expect Rita’s ducklings to arrive next week.