Sunday, 24 September 2017

Limpy and Disco

My two disabled ducks are gradually getting used to each other, although disco is still showing she's the boss.

However Limpy is still a baby, just coming up to 3 months old. I think once he gets his male colours and a bit bigger she will be more accepting of him, especially when spring arrives !

Meanwhile when together in the pool they get on great and do a bit of diving together. Limpy's gammy leg is no hindrance in the water, and he can now use his wings to give himself a lift when required.

Having had this impediment since a small duckling he has adapted and managed OK on one leg.

Short clip below showing how Disco still rules the roost !


Saturday, 23 September 2017

Penny And The Ducklings

Nice scene today in the Autumn sunshine, Penny looking enviously at the mother duck with the brood of Nine !

Penny had several broods of nine herself over the years, sadly not this year.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Mirror Mirror....

Penny and Duke appear to be getting a little closer lately. Duke seems to have gotten over his bouts of ill health and appetite has returned.

Penny has now got her new plumage and has already had a test flight. Duke is about 10 days behind her with the moulting. I had a chat with them this morning and both knew I was communicating ...even if they couldn't understand, they like being close and ready for a soothing nap !
Duke was resting his right leg, the foot is used as a means of controlling body temperature, solar panel for swans !  Short clip below.


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Successful Duck Release

The rehab duck with the previously broken leg was finally released today. 

The sun shone for the first time in weeks, and the 10 day rehab after the splints were removed ensured that she was fully recovered. 

Not even a hint of a limp she took to the river with great joy, diving and splashing and giving herself a good wash and preen. I am truly happy she is back in the wild, although I'll miss our little drinks together !! 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Being In Demand

Young Ducklings are quick to learn where there's a food source, mainly from their Mum of course. 

During chilly weather their need for food is much greater, to keep the cold out and keep growing as well.

The combination of dried mealworm, porridge oats, and mixed bird seed, is an ideal high protein diet to do the job.

The sequence of shots shows what happens when I turn up with the food every day, the ducklings virtually scoot over the water, have their fill and depart to sleep it off !

This Mum knows me from previous years and her experience shows. It's nice being in demand ! 

Friday, 15 September 2017

Bird Seed Benefactor

Got  a pleasant surprise returning from this mornings river bird feeding session. A 20kg sack of wild bird seed deposited at my door.

The Trust would like to thank the anonymous benefactor who kindly considered the birds welfare, especially during this cold snap. Much Appreciated

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Cute Ducklings

The September brood are coping with the new river environment in spite of the recent spate conditions. 

Was a bit worried when I didn't see them yesterday, but today mother duck turned up at feeding time with all 9 ducklings.
They were eating like ravenous piranhas with the drop in temperature and high water.

 After stuffing their necks with Mealworm, porridge oats, and mixed bird seeds, they settled down for a nap. 
At first on the recently created shingle bed in the middle of the river, then under the bridge.

Short movie clip below, drink after the feed . 


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Last Of The Season ?

Very late hatch yesterday, I saw a mother duck with only one duckling. This is unusual because ducks usually have a much larger brood.

She has likely lost the others to the Crows, two of which are currently stalking this little one. The mother chased them off but they will continue until they get it. It's chances of survival are pretty slim with cold conditions, high river water, plus the predators. It's tough being a duckling !

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

September Brood

UPDATE: I can confirm this is the brood from the Rectory. The other 2 ducklings were attacked by a cat on Saturday, killing one and injuring the other. The Mother has wisely decided to bring them to the river now.
New Brood of nine has turned up in the river today. I suspect they are from from the Rectory where there was 11 a week ago. 

They are around 3 weeks old. Conditions are not ideal, with the river in spate and cool temperatures. 

However they seem healthy and robust, so hopefully some will survive although late in the season.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Duck Resilience

Today I transferred the rehab duck into the Aviary. 

Was planning keeping her indoors for a few days more, but she was determined to keep quacking and flying out of the brooder box and around the room at 6 am - which to me is the middle of the night ! She still has a slight limp which is to be expected at this juncture, so another week in the Aviary is required before release. Her resilience is amazing . 

Disco and Limpy were out to see who the new guest was, and Disco made it plain with her squabbles that this was her garden.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Duck Leg Healed

Today was the planned visit to Moray Coast Vets to have the duck splints removed. Vet Julie who put on the splints 2 weeks ago was pleasantly surprised to see the duck walking, and removed the splints, it has been a success after only 2 weeks.  Well done Julie. 

Having filled the bath at home, I was looking forward to letting the duck have a good dip after 2 weeks without. 

She was ecstatic to get into the water, and spent an hour splashing, preening and scratching, it was a joy to watch. She scratched her face several times using her newly healed leg, it appears to be functioning  perfectly. The plan now is to keep her some time in the Aviary, to ensure fully healed and no big obvious limp that might make her a target on the river. Once that is settled I will return her to the river.
Short movie clip below showing her in the bath scratching her face with the newly healed leg .


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Trust Rehab Care

Following on the previous posting, thought I would try and capture a few shots of the rewarding and amusing side of bird rehabilitation.

The current duck under Trust care is proving to be a perfect patient, and would melt the heart of anyone. 

She is a wild Mallard but able to share a drink with me in the morning ! 

She will be going to the vet tomorrow for the removal of her leg splints. I am confident she will be walking normally very soon.
Short clip of morning drink with me below.


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

On My Spot

Got a surprise when I returned from the shops today. A duck recovering from an accident which I have been tending for the past 2 weeks, decided it was fed up being cooped up in the brooder box.

It was getting some attention from me a couple of times day and obviously liked it. 

Enough to fly out and sit on my spot waiting on my return .

How could I resist  !