Wednesday, 31 July 2013

More Quackers - UPDATE

UPDATE ! At 9pm when I left the river last night the mother duck had all 13 ducklings. At Eleven o'clock this morning she only had 4. 

It seems my advice and warnings are again being ignored, and someone has been feeding the ducklings to the gulls ! When are people going to wise up and stop feeding the gulls, and throwing bread on top of day old ducklings !
Another fabulous Summer day, and more wildlife joy to be admired. Conditions have been ideal for the last month, and some mothers do have them - at the right time.

This mother duck came from around the Swans island area, and gave me a good look at her brood of 13 ducklings. 

Hopefully she will keep them safe and away from danger.

If you happen to see them, PLEASE don't throw bread at them, this will only result in gulls taking the ducklings. Otherwise photograph, admire, and enjoy by all means.


Anonymous said...

What makes you think this was the result of people feeding the ducks and not a natural predator?

jayteescot1 said...

Experience has shown me before that losing that many ducklings in one go, is usually because of a seagull feeding frenzy created by people throwing handfuls of bread. A new mother always keeps her brood very close, however in the water during a feeding melee, black headed gulls drop down and the ducklings scatter. They then become food for the herring gulls which take anything that floats. Hoodie crows might manage to take 2 or 3 in the course of raid, but not 9.

Anonymous said...

Pure conjecture on your part Joe which only leads to more bad feeling

jayteescot1 said...

Anon, you have obviously not watched or seen gulls taking ducklings before. Losing 9 ducklings in one go has all the hallmarks of a herring gull feeding session. Many people are hopelessly out of touch when it comes to checking if there are any ducklings below, before tossing heaps of bread into the water. I see it happen frequently.

Annon 1 said...

Thats as maybe but you constantly feeding the wildlife is un-natural increasing bird numbers beyond the rivers naturally sustainable levels. Parents have every right to take their kids to feed the ducks and maybe these losses will help restore some kind of balance.
No matter how good your intentions, you are interfering with nature and it could be argued you cause more harm than anyone.
You may have created a self-imposed sanctuary but you have no more right to the river than anyone, including kayakers, fishers or kids.

jayteescot1 said...

Anon 1, I take your point, it's all a question of what the human race wants. Do we want humans to continually take more and more of the world and all it's resources for their own pleasure, at the expense of every other species on the pLanet ? Since we have learned to stand up, we have been interfering with nature unabated. Human nature is such that there is never enough of anything, and we are in danger of destroying the very beauty that surrounds us.
Having kayaks, canoes, and anglers exploiting every inch of water for their own pleasure, will drive away other species that depend on that habitat for their existence. The water birds congregate in the tidal reaches in the autumn through till spring, when they traverse the entire river length. Until humans started killing everything that nature had to offer, what was the sustainable wildlife before we interfered ?

anon 2 said...

I agree with anon 1. There never used to be so many mallards on this part of the river at any time of the year. It is a duckpond now. Fine if people want that but let's stop talking about wildlife shall we?

Anon 1 said...

Jay, you can hardly use the global arguement here, we are talking about the river Nairn and the harbour!
Would halving the bird numbers on the river make it less attractive? Of course not!
You can hardly accuse Kayakers and anglers of exploiting the waters, they are using the river/harbour for recreation and pleasure and I would even charge that many river users are more environmentally aware and considerate than you who hand feeds the non-wild bird population!
Uneaten food creates amonia/nitrites and nitrates, the increased fecal matter through artificially increased bird numbers causes the same problem. What environmental effect does a kayaker create? Zero polution, zero waste, zero environmental effect.
They nor angers certainly do not increase the vermin on the riverbank!

Anonymous said...

Less than 100 years ago the part of the river Nairn that has now been designated as a 'sanctuary' by some was a working area for fishing boats, and the wildlife managed quite well, although in those days it was truly wild and not fed twice a day.

Whilst the river sustains wildlife it is also a leisure area much like the harbour and has many users both human and animal.

You may see it as purely being the domain for the birds that you feed but it's not, it's much more than that, witness folk who use the river for their pleasure such as fishermen and the likes of canoeists

Neither groups are constant users and it's possible they might scare wildlife away for a short period, but in all likelihood creatures will return once they are gone. The wildlife that finds the river too busy will seek homes elsewhere

But please stop your conjecture about injuries to the birds, it really doesn't help your relationship with the majority of the population

jayteescot1 said...

The Global argument does not stop at the outskirts of Nairn, it is valid everywhere. I appreciate humans want to have fun and entertainment, and I don't have a problem with that. I have made no mention of the harbour regarding kayaks or canoes and I have no problem with them either. The problem is some people's lack of consideration for the natural inhabitants of the river. We all know that certain human activities play havoc with the wildlife. For instance jet ski boats and such like, interfering with Dolphins and Whales communications. This is entertainment for some. The river Nairn is a small spate river and currently has little water, using canoes or kayaks in these conditions means scraping the bottom and needlessly scaring the waterbirds, at a time when many have young that cannot fly away to escape the intrusion. I don't have a problem with anglers either, as long as they avoid leaving tackle laying around and fish according to the conditions. As for the river 100 years ago, there was almost certainly no birdlife on the river, since it would have been promptly shot and eaten - except gulls. I recall the Nairnshire quoting an incident 100 years ago last year. " A single swan was seen going along the shore to the west of the harbour, and was shot by a wildfowler. " This would have been the fate of any wildlife in those days. Why is Nairn no longer a fishing port, because as I said before, humans can never get enough and exploit everything to extinction - if allowed to. I have never claimed the river off limits to anybody, I have merely tried to educate people on the waterfowl, and get them to appreciate what so many of us do.
What is the big problem leaving a few hundred yards for the wildlife that we all enjoy seeing so much ?

As for conjecture, over the last 10 years I have been vilified, slandered, defamed, spat at, pushed into the river, called all sorts of unsavoury names, all based on conjecture and personal resentment.
I could have taken court action in many of these cases but deliberately chose not to. However I will continue to do my best for the river environment and it's inhabitants. This thread is now closed.