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 . 

video

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 .


video

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.

video


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  !

Monday, 4 September 2017

White Sparrow




Noticed the white Sparrow that I spotted last year is still on the go.




Looks like new plumage too.



Sunday, 3 September 2017

New Late Ducklings

Just received the following Photo taken from Facebook this morning.


Apparently mother and ducklings near Millbank .  Hope they make it to the River.  This is late in the season but not unheard of, I have seen them hatch as late as Halloween !!
Anyone seeing mother and ducklings in the Town should escort them to the River, carefully staying behind them letting mother duck dictate the pace to the water. DO NOT THROW BREAD AT THEM, this will only bring down predatory Crows and Gulls that will kill the ducklings !

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Duke Looking Good



With his new plumage and new diet, Duke's health has picked up and looking good. 


Some brief sunshine this morning, saw him soaking it up and preening. Short clip below enjoying his dried Mealworm.

video

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Pacific Salmon Comes To Scotland



Reports earlier last week about Pacific pink salmon invading the Scottish rivers is undoubtedly true.
Earlier this evening while feeding the water birds, some of the ducks jumped out of the water having been disturbed by something underneath them. About 10 feet in front of me I saw the humped back of a Male Pacific Pink salmon protruding from the water. The water at this point was only about a foot deep and I could see the fish quite clearly, it meandered slowly up the river.
How these fish have ended up in Scottish waters is a mystery, but if I saw one there must be an awful lot more around. I have informed the water bailiff. The top photo is from the Spey fisheries board, and is roughly the size of the fish I saw this evening. 


This photo I took just as it submerged, so not much to see.