Saturday, 31 March 2012

Bird Diverters and Drought

Scottish and Southern energy fulfilled their pledge to fit the bird diverters out at Kingsteps - well done to them ! Hopefully this will help avoid tragic accidents and give the Swans a chance to live. I noticed someone on the roadbridge today taking notes, maybe BEAR Scotland will soon brighten up the bridge railings too.

I hate to be a killjoy, but the river and ground could do with some RAIN ! I have never seen the river so low at this time of year - it badly needs freshened up. The river weed that the Swans need to feed their offspring - need water to grow in !

Friday, 30 March 2012

Penny For The Spot

Popeye's course of medical treatment has ended today, he has much improved and when I saw him climb up to the nest yesterday his limp was slight. In saying that, he was reluctant to get off the nest when Penny tried to take over - she had to persistently nudge him out of the way, I think he was too comfy !

He did move eventually !

Thursday, 29 March 2012

My Left Foot

Popeye looks forward to his daily medication and is happy with all the TLC. Today he even held out his left foot for a thorough inspection - I'm sure he knows what I'm doing ! I'ts looking good, but he's not getting complete rest, for another pair of swans have an eye on the river and he has to keep them out.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Invergordon Incinerator - NO !

I note that there is to be a Public Inquiry on the 6th June into the proposed Incinerator to be sited at Invergordon. I hope that the River Community Council and for that matter all of Nairn's Community councils put in strong objections to this proposal. As a long term Nairn resident and ex boat owner / fisherman. I would like to point out that the prevailing winds during the Summer months come from across the firth, and I'm sure many of you will be aware of industrial smells coming from the Cromarty firth as well as heather burning etc, proof that air pollution does travel this far.
The Nairn tourist trade is important, and any health scare stories about fallout from Invergordon will not help Nairn whatsoever. All of us experience from time to time the sewage smells coming from the east of the town, the last thing we want is industrial scale burning coming from the north as well - particularly throughout the summer ! I hope all our politicians make this an election pledge, for the sake of keeping Scotland beautiful and as pollution free as possible. D - day 6th of June should be a storming of the northerly beaches by Nairn objectors to any incinerator that will impact on us !

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Bonding Ritual

Popeye is showing good signs of improvement and getting back to his old self. Yesterday he took over his nest guarding duties although still resting his bad left leg, even on the nest. Today he was obliged to chase another young Swan out of the river, and found no difficulty with take off or landing. To reassure Penny his mate, he then started the bonding ritual (short vid below) and noticeably was using his bad leg again. This is the 3rd day of antibiotics, so I'm now confident he will make a full recovery very soon with no further intervention

Monday, 26 March 2012


Observing swans anytime is nice but a pair of mute Swans at this time of year is special, and evokes a picture of what humans would call love. Popeye and Penny make a fine couple, and I'm sure many would like to aspire to this level. Popeye continues with his duties in spite of his injury, and escorts Penny when foraging for algae and roots. Their closeness is touching.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

More Treatment for Popeye

After taking some more close up pics and observations of Popeye's leg, and sending them down to my Avian Advisor - Sue in Swindon. She advises that he needs Antibiotics because the leg is infected. I was worried that this might be the case and will treat him accordingly. He is ok in water because he can get by with one leg, however he can barely walk and is obviously in pain out of water. Couldn't have happened at a worse time, because his partner needs him at least until she starts incubating. Depending on what happens, I may have to take him to a vet in the not too distant future for further treatment.

I would ask people not to feed him just now because I have to give him medication orally, and need to be sure he eats it !

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Popeye and Bird Diverters

Popeye is still nursing his injured leg and finds walking pretty painful - from what I can observe anyway. Based on the last injured cygnet with a bad leg 2 years ago , it could take several weeks before he's 100% fit. Lets hope he doesn't have to tangle with another aggressive Cob in the short term!

I was informed today by SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) that they will be fitting the bird Diverters to the Kingsteps Power lines next week, on the 29th. This is good news for any Swans that might be flying into the local pond. There have been at least two Swan fatalities there, but possibly others I don't know about.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Irrepressible Popeye !

Seems like the Anti - inflammatory medication is helping, and you cant keep a good Cob down ! This is the optimum time for Swan mating - the Spring Equinox, right on cue and Popeye with a bad leg too ! The will to survive and procreate is powerful stuff, as I witnessed Popeye and Penny enter the harbour for the business of mating - regardless of the injured leg ! Incredibly he actually managed to mate without the help of his injured leg, I think there's joke there somewhere about not getting a leg over ! Pics tell the story.

( I have cut out the actual mating shots for those with a sensitive disposition )

Council Improvements

Looks like the Council are taking heed of some local concerns and making some improvments to the Bailey bridge. I also received word from Cllr Liz MacDonald, that the area of Himalayan balsam that I pointed out in a previous post, has now been sprayed ! Well done to the council !

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Popeye Injured

Popeye our resident Cob has been injured and puts this years mating and nesting at risk ! I noticed yesterday that he was sitting on the island virtually all day, and did not come over for his usually feed. Knowing him as I do, I thought something must be wrong and went over to check him out. He was laying down and was loathe to get up, I forced him to stand up but his legs were weak and he had great difficulty in getting to the moat. I could see he had injured his legs, probably hitting stones when chasing other swans and landing in shallow water - the river is extremely low just now.

I have given him some anti - inflammatory medication and will continue this for several days in the hope that it reduces any pain and gets him on his feet. If he is unable to do the business with Penny his mate, then nesting might be scuppered for this year !

Monday, 19 March 2012

Be Kind to Wildlife

Seems like word gets around if you treat wildlife kindly, they soon catch on to those who treat them well. These pigeons know where they can get a nice meal and a bath !

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Pigeon Release

After 10 days the young injured Pigeon given to me by young girls has finally been released today. I kept it in the house for several days , then outside in the Aviary. I opened the door and allowed other pigeons to go in and feed on the scattered seed, and the young pigeon followed them out. It flew onto the aviary roof and then joined the flock when they took off and circled the town centre. The injured left leg is now fully functional - nice to get a good result again.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Opposite's Attract

Penny is very fastidious right now and spending all her time seeking out Roots, Algae, and minerals for egg production. These are vital to her system and another successful breeding season. She has been out at sea for weed and minerals, and the river and harbour for Algae and roots. Her partner Popeye has finally seen off the young pretender, and a determined calm has returned to the river. They're looking in great condition for the creation of a new generation .

Friday, 16 March 2012

One Years Seeding = 7 Years Weeding

Gardeners will be familiar with the title of this post, and with the new Blitz planned on eradicating the alien species, a start could be made now. I noticed the Himalayan balsam seed is germinating nicely all over the place. Behind the old gasworks site has a profusion of double leaves that could be easily eradicated, by one man in 10 minutes with a sprayer of round up or similar. To that end, I have sent an email with photo to John Fraser in the hope that he will eradicate this small area. It was mid January that Mr Frasers men spent several days chopping the roses and shrubs that harboured the small birds. All that's needed this time is one man for 10 minutes with a sprayer, surely better than 4 men later in the year tackling 6 feet high balsam !

BEAR - ing Good News !

I have just received news of a letter sent to the Secretary of Nairn River Community council From BEAR Scotland. It appears that funds have now been allocated to repaint the A96 River Nairn Road bridge ! Looks like a concerted effort BEARing down on BEAR, is finally BEARing fruit. Lets hope they get on with it soon before a tragedy happens.