Sunday, 18 February 2018

Almost Springlike

A couple of days sunny weather, lifts the spirits and almost feels like approaching spring.

Even the birds are getting that way inclined, including Disco and Limpy, digging around the soil in search of worms and roots.

Winter is by no means over, but another month should see us well on the way !

Disco and Limpy are in good health, and showing all the signs of a viable mating pair.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Bridge Open Again

Normality has returned to the Merryton bridge after resurfacing.

Beautiful day with blue sky, but this still shaping up to be the coldest winter for some years. 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Greenpeace Valentine Blog

As a supporter and member of Greenpeace I received their Valentine Blog today, something I have been asked to share. HERE. Well worth a view.

Looks like the Merryton bridge should be re-opening soon if the progress noted today continues.

Was 15 years ago today that I gave up smoking, one of the best decisions I have ever made, pretty sure I would not be here now if I had continued.  Would recommend it to everyone who smokes !

Monday, 12 February 2018

Bridge Closed

Work has now started on the Merryton Bridge, both ends have been sealed for up to 2 weeks.

The birds that normally get fed beside it , have had their lives disrupted in the meantime.

Hopefully it wont be too long before the walkway has been renewed and back in use. Hundreds of people use this bridge on a daily basis. 

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Limpy and Disco

Having endured the winter together, my 2 disabled ducks Disco and Limpy are beginning to take a closer interest in each other.

Although Disco the female has not been too keen on Limpy because he has one deformed leg.

When he flew into the pond today showing that he can fly and she cant, this seemed to change her attitude quite a bit.

They circled around one another and she stretched her neck, as he did a few bobs of the head.

This was the outcome I was hoping for. It would be great if they can mate and have a brood together later in the spring - watch this space !

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Keeping Warm

                       Icy wind and frosty conditions means keeping warm is vital.

Birds metabolism is greater than other species and therefore need more food. Penny and Duke hunkered down after a good feed.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Residents Back

Penny and Duke returned a couple of days ago after a 3 day absence. It appears they were keeping another incomer away from the River.

Both are in fine fettle and awaiting the spring - like the rest of us ! 
Frosty day today and water ice cold, forecast same for the next week. 
According to the Gurn, Merryton bridge will be closed for up to 2 weeks from next Monday for bridge refurbishment, people will have to use the other bridges.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Away Day

No sign of Penny and Duke today, perhaps another attempt to dump Duke ? Spring tide this week  means particularly High and low tides, giving them access to seaweed normally out of reach. This may be the only reason Penny and Duke not in the river today. On the other hand they may have gone back to the place they spent 3 weeks away recently. They have not been challenged for the territory lately so maybe just gone for a change of scene.

Penny might still be trying to find a new mate and this might be her last chance before nesting time ! Is she trying to get back to Slim ?

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Bottoms Up - 5 Years Young !

The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust is now 5 years young. It was January 2013 when the first Meeting of the founding Trustees got together.

Much has happened over the last 5 years to benefit the river wildlife, and in turn delight many people in the process.

We now have around 200 river waterfowl which give a lot of pleasure to many by their presence on the river. 

The Trust have been watchdogs for the wildlife and the local environment too, reporting pollution incidents, picking up litter, and educating people on the riverside.

Many rescues have also been carried out, saving various birds that would have otherwise perished. Well over 100 birds have been saved.

The Trust has dealt with wildlife safety issues like getting BT to alter wiring after one of our cygnets got killed.

We also deal with the Scottish SPCA and Vets on a regular basis, as well as network rail, BEAR Scotland, Scottish water, SSE and anyone else that effects our legitimate concerns.

The Trust has spent over £15,000 on the care and welfare of the birds and their environment. This has come Primarily from the membership which now totals 176. Most are local but some from throughout the UK and abroad too.

Every penny raised by the Trust has been used to benefit the wildlife.

As time passes people realise more and more that we need to keep in touch with nature, that the natural world is immensely valuable for our own well being.

                          It has to be protected and cherished for future generations.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Thaw and Pollution

River is still running high after the thaw and stormy wind yesterday. The birds are getting into the eddies where they can avoid the strong current and feed.

Penny and Duke find it easier to reach the feed then ride the rapids.

Unpleasant mess on harbour street yesterday as a sewer overflowed onto the street, this was quickly spread all over the road and path by passing vehicles. I contacted Scottish Water and they said it was being investigated. This sewer has thrown up stuff before and is an obvious long term problem to be fixed. It ultimately ends up in the roadside drain then into the river !

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

My Friends Perspective

Big thaw started today and river rising makes feeding my friends more difficult in a fast spate river.

However during the cold spell they were fed twice a day - now back to once a day. 
The Trust helps them get through the winter months ready for a productive spring.

Feeding my friends in the cold river conditions, I get a close perspective and am accepted by Penny as a trusted friend of 12 years.  Short clip with Penny preening beside me before the thaw.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

On Guard

Lovely crisp winters day, blue sky and  I managed to remove some annoying river litter in the form of 2 white  plastic sandbags near Merryton bridge.

Penny and duke had a good feed then spotted a lone Swan around their island.

This provoked and immediate response both arching their wings ready for action !

Duke showed the more aggressive stance which you can see in the photos, he is on the right hand side.

He seems to be more willing for combat this year and is in a healthy condition. Defence of their territory will be their number one priority from now on.  Short movie clip of them feeding, minutes before spotting the intruder below.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Winter Chill

As I surmised early in December, the Winter looks like being a hard one compared to recent years.

Already we've had more snow than last year and it's only mid January.

When the ground is covered the birds suffer more than most, so make sure you top up your bird feeders and don't forget they need water to drink.

Our river birds had the seal to avoid during high tide today as well.