Monday, 16 January 2017


Two bits of good news received recently. After consultations with Network Rail and Scottish SPCA Inspector Aileen Ross last week, Network rail have agreed to fit bird diverter discs onto the Nairn Railway bridge fence. This should prevent any bird collisions in future, our thanks to Inspector Ross and Network rail on this issue. I also received news that the Petition for a designated wildlife area has now passed through the legal Dept of Highland Regional Council.

It has been deemed to be legal, competent, and meets the requirements of the councils petition policy. We await further developments on this.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Tankers or Wildlife ?

Was going through some of my archive photos and came across a few with Tankers in the background. This is relevant to the current ship to ship oil transfer proposals outside the Cromarty firth. 

These particular shots show the size of these vessels and you can imagine many of them anchored adjacent to Nairn just a few miles away. The engine noise and fumes 24/7 throughout the summer and good weather, with the ever present danger of pollution - accidental or otherwise.
It's not only the marine wildlife, but our Swans and hundreds of other birds throughout the Moray firth that will be at risk. 

For the Cromarty Port authority to make a few extra bucks, it s not worth risking our precious environment and wildlife.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Twosome and Dipper

Penny and Duke are enjoying each others company with no distracting cygnets to worry about. Penny can now concentrate on feasting and getting herself in good condition for the spring.

Duke is also looking good and already looking healthier than when he first showed up. 

The little Dipper is also feasting in the cold fast water near the Merryton bridge.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Adopted Cygnets Gone

As I suspected, Penny and Duke have finally chased the adopted cygnets away. They did remarkably well by allowing them to mature to the right stage to survive on their own. The cygnets were much younger than Penny's when they arrived in the river, and 6 weeks feeding and flight practice has now given them a good start to their life's journey. 

Penny and Duke can now enjoy a couple of months peace, and build up their reserves for the new season.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Riverpark Runt Makes Good

Regular viewers will remember that the Trust cared for a brood of 13 ducklings rescued last summer from Riverpark. All of these were healthy except for the Runt of the brood which was half the size and way behind the others in development. 

When the time came for release I could not release the runt since it's wings had still not developed and it was still only half the size of it's siblings.

                          I decided to keep it to see if it would survive and mature. After another couple of months it developed into what I would consider a bantam sized duck with legs that are shorter than normal, otherwise it seems healthy and mature. I then had to consider getting it a suitable mate for company, and with the possibility of them having a brood this coming spring.

                           I am pleased to report that It now has a suitable mate and they are getting on famously, what a great success if they have a brood and can all go back to the river later this year ! Short clip below of her and new mate head bobbing !


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Action on Bridge Fence

A meeting between Network Rail and Scottish SPCA Inspector Aileen Ross will take place this week over safety measures to be installed on the River Nairn railway viaduct bridge. I involved the SPCA to ensure that Network rail realise the seriousness with which the Trust want action on a fence that has already cost the lives of 2 geese. Our Swans do fly over this bridge from time to time and the last thing we want is a fatality.

                       I have made a few suggestions to Network rail on the best action to take, so that the birds can see and avoid the fence before colliding with the wires.  

Friday, 6 January 2017

Trust Accounts for 2016

Have just completed the Annual accounts for the Trust. It has been an extremely busy year in every sense.

The total income for the Trust was £3075-74, This includes membership fees and the £800 awarded to us for Tree planting and bird rescue service.
Outgoings were £3752- 81 giving us a deficit again totalling £677-67.
The Trust has just increased it's annual membership fee to £20 which will include all members of the same family living at the same address. It is hoped this will help eliminate the annual deficit.
As founder and Treasurer I will pay the deficit meanwhile to help keep the Trust in the black.  

We successfully helped rescue some 62 Ducklings this year, as well as 2 dozen other bird species. Sadly we could not save Popeye this time.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Ray of Sunshine

Finally the awful spell of windy weather has subsided. Today we have blue skies and slight frost, perfect winter weather that suits me.

Even the Robin enjoyed the sunshine rays.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Orphans Still Here

Penny and Duke are acting like an old married couple, with 2 cygnets still not left home yet.

Seems they are in no hurry to chase them away, and all 4 are getting closer all the time.

Penny seems to be using them as a training exercise for Duke, perhaps getting him into habits for any future family they may have together, we shall see.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year !

I'd like to wish all my viewers a very Happy and Healthy New year, In spite of a bad case of Man Flu, no doubt caught at the local checkout. Some day they will see the wisdom in not having employees working with infectious conditions handling goods and spreading illness to all and sundry ! 

Meanwhile a reminder of the beauty of the past year, and the sadness of the loss of Popeye. 

Here's hoping Penny and Duke will carry on this year. Cygnets movie clip below.


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Little Grebe Diving

For some weeks now the Little grebe has made the lower river it's winter home, feeding on sticklebacks and other pinhead fish.

                        I had the good fortune to see it close up and diving beside the Merryton bridge the other day. The powder puff effect is lovely and gives it warmth and buoyancy. You can see just how small it is beside an inquisitive Mallard - in the short diving clip below.


Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Para Pigeon Progress

Looks like the Pigeon with Paramyxovirus might well survive this deadly disease.

It no longer has the neck twisting contortions, and is able to fly in a controlled way. It has also started to eat unaided, although it's coordination is still not perfect.

It's 4 weeks since I found it sitting at my door, and appears to have fought off the worst of the illness.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas Day At The Island

Gale force winds tearing down the riverside, made for a very blustery Christmas day.

With temperatures near the mid teens melting hill snow, and yesterday's rain, the river was in spate. This forced the birds to the safety of the Swans Island.

Taking pics with 60 to 80 mile an hour gusts was a shaky affair, all the birds were keeping a low profile and Penny and Duke were leaving the orphan cygnets in peace. 

All the birds had a good Christmas feed - courtesy of the Trust.

A flock of Redshanks were also keeping down, and the duck that is still nesting came off the nest to have a quick feed.

If her eggs are viable they should be due to hatch any day now, conditions could hardly be worse for any ducklings getting hatched at this time of year. Long dark nights, high cold water, gale force winds and no food available - no chance of survival. - unless the Trust spots them first. Short clip below showing blustery conditions.

Friday, 23 December 2016


To All our Trust Members and viewers, a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year. 

Penny with one of Popeye's wee yin's.

Close up Portrait of Popeye, the original Big Daddy of 62 Cygnets fledged - on the First Ever Swans Nesting Island on the River Nairn !

             Gone but not forgotten.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Mid Winter Blues

Mid Winter today and Nairn Resident Linda brought me a pigeon this afternoon, severe damage to right wing looks like it has been hit by a vehicle. This presented me with a bit of a problem since I have another one with a very contagious para virus and has to be isolated, and 2 more recovering outside in a coop. In addition I have the neuro duck in my computer room ! The only answer was putting it in a small animal carrier in my living room - at least until I have given it enough medication for a fighting chance.

 Antibiotics and anti -bacterial cream on the wing wound. It looks a bit blue on this miserable mid winters day !