Donna Smith next to the patched-up hole where the ducks were found and eventually rescued. Inset: The moment the ducks finally came out of the disused chimney Picture: Jonathan CarrollAT first, the noise might have been a rat or small bird which had somehow found its way into a part of the house that Donna Smith and her family could not.
Within two days, the noise got louder and a possum was being blamed.
But with perseverance and the help of the Cessnock Volunteer Rescue Association, Mrs Smith and her family have saved a pair of wood ducks which spent three sooty days inside a disused chimney.
‘‘If a duck could show expressions then these ones showed sheer relief when they finally got out,’’ Mrs Smith said. ‘‘You should have seen their eyes.’’
Mrs Smith first heard the bizarre noise in her Cessnock home last week. By Sunday morning, and after a sleepless night, the rescue association members were called but could not find anything.
It was not until Sunday afternoon that the Smiths could home in on a disused chimney and called the volunteers again.
When lassos from the roof did not work, the Smiths said there was no choice but to cut through the wall.
‘‘When they first said we had ducks in the wall I just felt sick, I have always loved ducks and they turn up at our place every year,’’ Mrs Smith said. ‘‘I was just ecstatic they could get them out.
‘‘They are great guys, those rescue boys, they could not have done any more.’’
Covered in soot and distressed, the female ducks were taken away by the rescue volunteers and released in a large pond at Cessnock.
The Smiths still have a hole in the wall.
‘‘We just need to get that chimney blocked off, we can’t have this happen again,’’ Mrs Smith said.
The Herald, Newcastle