Monday, 27 April 2015

Winter is Back !

Nature can be pretty cruel, especially on a grand scale with a big change in weather conditions. Some ducklings are just about due to hatch, and the last thing they need is a return to the current winter weather ! 
Even 5 weeks ago the weather was warmer.

Having to contend with predators is bad enough, but cold and lack of insect life guarantees little chance of survival. I can only hope that hatching is delayed and the weather changes for the better.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Merganser in Flight

By chance I got the opportunity to catch the Red Breasted Merganser in flight this evening. It was swimming down the moat and took off virtually in front of me.

They have very short rapid wing beats, so difficult to shoot with camera on auto !

Friday, 17 April 2015

Warmth Needed

With the nesting season well under way a little bit of warmth is needed to help with any newly hatched ducklings.

Although the weather has been 
reasonable, locally we could do with a rise in temperature to help with insects hatching and other food sources for the expected ducklings. There have been a few butterflies around which gives the appearance of summer, and the Merganser has been doing a spot of fishing as well - Short video below.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

In The Pink

Another glorious summer day, and one of the most amazing happenings with Popeye and Penny since they came here. 

Popeye escorted one of their female offspring back to the nesting site while Penny was sitting on the new clutch ! I can only surmise what was going on, but it looked like he was flirting with his offspring.

Penny was having none of it and was off the nest in a flash and into attack mode, chasing the cygnet away. 

Perhaps the young cygnet was an earlier version of Penny,  and Popeye could not resist the attraction !

Anyway this evening all was restored, and Popeye was dutifully sitting beside his partner and their future offspring to be.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Wildlife Crime !

PIGEON UPDATE! The ID number on the pigeon is NE3856SU14.

In the space of 18 hours I was contacted by two Nairn residents reporting 2 injured birds. One of these was a Herring gull found in Gordon street, and the other was a homing Pigeon found in Douglas street. Both had been shot ! The Police have been informed as well as the Scottish SPCA who took the gull away. 

The pigeon I took to the Vet to see if it could be saved, unfortunately the injuries were too severe and it had to be put to sleep. Perhaps the owner might recognise the rings on the pigeon, a green one on the right leg and a yellow one on the left.
It seems we have a shooter in the town, now hunted by both the Police and the SPCA.
These birds are innocent creatures and have as much right to be on the Planet as the rest of us, the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust will not tolerate the senseless killing of birds and will assist the Police and SPCA whenever we can.YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Little Egret Again

Trust Member and keen naturalist George Berryman has once again seen the Little Egret near the Culbin.

Standing on one leg it was still some distance away, but George got a couple of pics just the same.
Hopefully it will become a "local" bird and also have a mate too.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Sparrowhawk Drowns Pigeon

As I have remarked in the past, being in the right place with a camera at the right time sometimes results in getting unusual shots.

Today was one such occasion when a Sparrowhawk downed and drowned a pigeon only yards away from me. 

The pigeon frantically tried to escape and eventually broke free, it only travelled a matter of 30 feet before the hawk hit it again and both fell into the river.

 The hawk was determined to keep it's kill and held the pigeon under the water, it was pitiful to watch because the pigeon was being drowned and the hawk could not lift it out of the water. It was a waste of a pigeons life as it floated away, and the hawk took off. Sequence of shots tells the story.  

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Co-op is King !

A HUGE THANK YOU to all the customers, management and staff of the King street Co-op in Nairn for donating £333- 94 to the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust
The Trust is extremely grateful for the generous spirit of the local population, and the interest and care they show for our local water birds.
All of the donations will be used exclusively for the welfare and benefit of the birds and their environment.
We wish everyone a Happy Easter !

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Garden Blue Tits

Great to see the Blue Tits back in the garden, I am hoping they will again use the nest boxes provided.
Trying to get a decent shot of them is difficult, since they are such active birds and moving all the time !

Was lucky and managed to get a few out of 20 odd attempts.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Moorhen and Merganser

What was another fresh but lovely spring day, also gave nice lighting conditions for the camera lens too. 

The shy Moorhen ventured into the moat and got as close as it would dare. 
The Red Breasted Merganser was sunning himself close to the Merryton bridge,  being on the right side of the sun was useful for some nice shots.

 Popeye meanwhile was standing guard over the nest.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Dogs and Nesting Season

The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust would like to remind Dog owners that the bird nesting season is getting under way. 

Half of Scotland's birds are ground nesting and therefore vulnerable to dogs that are not kept under close control by owners taking them for a walk. The Scottish outdoor access code states that dogs should be kept under close control in areas used by wildlife, this includes our riverside where ducks and swans are nesting for the next 4 to 5 months.

Ducks will sit on their nests relying on camouflage to keep them safe, 

owners should not allow their dogs to sniff them out, sometimes resulting in the death of the birds because they try to protect their eggs or young.

Choosing open spaces to let your dog run free is the responsible thing to do at this time of year.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Remedial Work Completed

After last summers flash floods, hundreds of tons of shingle were washed down river blocking the swans island Moat. This was a new hazard which had to be rectified, as well as the torn wire mesh baskets at the Merryton bridge.

After weeks of hoop jumping I got the go ahead from Marine Scotland, The regional Harbour authority, the 4 district councillors, and the District fisheries board to rectify the blocked moat.
The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust will foot the bill for this improvement, as part of our commitment to care for the wildlife their habitat and environment.  Any donations will be welcome !

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Spring is in The Air

Spring is in the air, with brilliant sunshine again favouring the Moray firth, the Nairn Swans are getting in the mood for another breeding season.

Popeye and Penny were enjoying the renovated moat and new abundance of fresh water available. 

Penny started the courtship today by blowing bubbles, and Popeye soon joined in 

- the sequence of photos shows the annual mating ritual.
Enjoy !

Rare Bird on East Beach

One of our trust members spotted a rare visitor to Nairn East beach mudflats today. George Berryman took a couple of photos of the rare bird, although slightly out of focus because of the distance and zoom.

However it is clearly a Little Egret and would not normally be seen this far north in the UK.
The mild winter conditions may have contributed to it being in the area.