Friday, 19 August 2016

More Fishing Tackle Trauma !!

Unbelievably while doing my river round this morning I witnessed yet again one of the Cygnets getting tangled up in fishing line under the Merryton Bridge !!  The poor bird unwittingly got it's feet caught up in line which was attached to a half submerged willow branch in the water. In total panic it tried to escape from the hidden line and in doing so set off a chain of panic among the rest of the family, especially Popeye and Penny, who were trying to protect the cygnet. As the panic increased the cygnet was pulling the line and branch behind it and other cygnets were getting caught up too. They all headed down to their island sanctuary where the two cygnets now tangled together got out of the water onto the island to escape the willow branch trailing behind them. By the time I got onto the island, Penny had got out of the water only to get caught on the line in the grass, it was fast becoming a nightmare. As I approached them, Penny went back into the water pulling the line and branch as I grabbed for the line before it disappeared through my fingers ! She had inadvertently taken the problem to herself as it became disengaged from the cygnets. She swam round the island as I called them all back to the moat, when they appeared  Penny was free of the line and branch !!

                               I will get onto the island tonight when the tide goes out to see if I can find the line and branch before they get caught again.
This is 3 incidents in 3 weeks, causing pain and trauma to our waterfowl. 
The Scottish SPCA Inspector said that this requires some action and warning signs on the Merryton bridge, the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust agrees with this assessment and will see what can be done.

UPDATE : Tonight after a close inspection of the Island and Moat, I found the offending line under the water in the dead part of the moat, it was not taken away by the tide and would almost certainly have caused more mayhem if it had not been found. When I held it up for Penny to see, she raised her wings and hissed at me - she knew damn fine what I had found !! 

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