Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Freezing !

Just checked the outdoor thermometer about 10pm and it was already -10 c , looks like this will be the coldest night of the year and it's still only November ! The Harbour is frozen over, and the river is not far behind with these temperatures. The Swans have been deprived access to the seaweed on the harbour walls and were glad of the carrots,Wheat and wholemeal in the moat today.
The Ducks too were desperate for food, and the wheat and poultry pellets are ideal protein
packed food to ward off the cold !
Some guy accused me the other day of interfering with nature - he better get used to it, for I will be feeding them all winter as I do every year !

Check out the short video of the afternoon feed below.

Bought myself a pair of Yak Trax for my shoes, and I recommend them for walking on ice or packed snow - they are excellent.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Feed The Birds !

Winter has finally struck with a vengeance, and the forecast is bad for the foreseeable future. The birds will be feeling the cold and survival is now the name of the game ! With the place covered in snow, Feeding the birds is now a priority to keep our feathered friends alive. All kinds of scraps, old cheese (grated), crushed peanuts , porridge oat flakes, bread crumbs and crushed biscuits, and of course fat balls, and mixed bird seed. Putting the food on a cleared area or under bushes where they are less likely to Sparrowhawk attack. Fresh water is also needed for drinking and bathing. Now is the time to spot all the different species visiting the garden, drawn to food like a magnet. Today whilst down at the harbour feeding the Swans, I spotted a small bird being buffeted by the blizzard like conditions, and landing a few feet away, I don't know what it was. Perhaps someone could tell me ? I thought maybe a young Stonechat ? The Robins are out in force and Steven the seagull has survived his first night in the snow in freezing conditions. I provided a warm bath this morning which he took advantage of !

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Gathering

Looks like another hard winter on the cards, but lucky old Nairn has missed the snowy start today ! As usual the ducks gather down the lower river for the winter along with several other species, where food is a little more available. The Swans have taken to eating the seaweed hanging from the harbour walls and river rocks, they are unable to get to the shore because of the northerly winds and rough seas. Amazingly a group of tourists from Brazil were admiring the Swans today - they promised to keep track of them on my blog when they get back !

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Harbour Mink

The harbour Mink is still going strong and living in the same hole in the wall. With the light fading I managed to get a few shots of it with the auto flash . Maybe we should nickname it Whitey - for it has a white patch under it's chin. He was as interested in me as I was in him ! The sunset was also very nice tonight, I took a shot up the red river !

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


I noticed today another pair of Swans off the end of the pier, I wonder if this is the reason why our lot are keeping the cygnets around - safety in numbers perhaps ? I think this was the main reason last year - to ward off the Cob that was trying to take over the territory. The cobs main purpose in life is to defend the territory, and this will inevitably mean fights and disputes every year. They are fearsome birds when the dander is up and they are capable of fighting to the death. I thought I would let you see what beautiful creatures they are from some previous pics.

Monday, 15 November 2010

This Time Last Year

What a beautiful crisp autumn day, typical timing that the tourist season is now over. The Cygnets are 6 months old and still here - so looks like a repeat of last year. At least there's only half the amount for the parents to look after. Today is a repeat of this day last season, as the pic of 15th November last year shows.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Museum Thanks

Yesterday I collected my Photo display from the Nairn Museum with a very nice thank you letter from the Manager. Extract of the letter above. I sincerely hope that Nairn Museum continues to operate and does not fall prey to the regional cutbacks. It provides a valuable insight to the Town for the Tourists, as well as the educational value to the young.

I dare say some of the people who view my blog from far away countries, may have visited the museum beforehand. Some of the Photo's in my display can be seen in my 2011 calendar, so why don't you pop into Strachans or Caledonian craft connections or Harbour st stores and buy some as Christmas stocking fillers !

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Seal of Approval

With High tides the past few days and a bit of Autumn sunshine, the lower river wildlife have been on display. The Swans are looking great and flying daily, but I seem to keep missing the flights ! The Seal has been hunting up around the merryton and roadbridge, and the Mink has been doing the rounds at Merryton too. Some new residents have arrived in harbour street overlooking the river, and have given the place the seal of approval. Elaine up from Edinburgh is smitten by our river wildlife and took a pic of the mink earlier today from the merryton bridge - see her mink pic below.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Steven Nearly Gets a Hawking

What a surprise this morning when I returned from the river to find Steven the gull standing on one side of the garden and a sparrowhawk standing at the other, both staring at each other !
I tried to get the camera out quickly but the hawk flew off. Incredibly later in the afternoon I looked out the living room window to see the hawk flying around inside my aviary ! The door was wide open but it couldn't find the way out. This time I managed to get a couple of pics through the window, one blurred of course but the other when it was clinging to the mesh - what talons it has ! It managed to get out when I went out to take some pics of course. It has killed 2 sparrows in the past week, so I think I'll have to stop filling the feeders for a few days in the hope that it moves on ! I hope Steven is a little too big for the hawk, It was in the aviary shortly after Steven had his bath in the video below !

Thursday, 4 November 2010


The Nairn cygnets are now 5 and half months old, and the parents still haven't chased them off. It could be that they will keep them over the winter, repeating last years highly successful rearing of 8 until the 12th of February before they saw them off. Swans tend to learn from experience, and like ourselves will repeat success when it happens.

The recently injured cygnet has recovered from the fishing tackle incident, and can now stand and walk on the bad left leg. The pic above shows her standing near the side, and short video below shows her walking to join the others for a preening session today. I will continue to feed them wheat grains, poultry pellets, carrots and wholemeal bread throughout the winter.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


The Dipper is still very active in the shallows among the dead leaves.