Thursday, 28 February 2013

Popeye Hinting

Popeye our resident Cob, was today putting out a strong hint that spring has sprung ! He climbed onto the nest site today and spent several hours sitting on the nest spot.

March is the traditional time for nest preparation and building, usually towards the end of the Month. For those of you interested in some Swan facts click HERE for FAQS. Meanwhile a pair of ducks gave new meaning to sleeping like a log...on a log !

Monday, 25 February 2013

Spruced up for Spring

The bright sunny weather continues, and allows the chance of a few good shots. 

The River birds are beginning to look their best, spruced up for Spring and the mating season. Their colours become intense, all to attract and impress their partners.

Sari and her sister have both got mates and Jo was sticking close to them today.

The female Goldeneye gave me a lucky chance shot, a split second before diving you can see the membrane sheath half covering the eye !  

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sari Finds a Mate

With the days growing longer and the spring equinox only a month away, all the waterfowl are eyeing each other up and finding partners. I am glad to report that Both Sari and one of her sisters have found mates. 

This only leaves Jo who has an injured leg to find a mate, It has made last Halloween's brood rescue, all worth while. 

With Popeye and Penny and the Moorhens at the island, we have pairs all over the river. 

Springtime is full of expectation !    

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Breaking The Ice

One thing Popeye and Penny don't have to do when it comes to getting to know each other, is break the Ice. 

Today however they literally did have to break the ice after last nights frost. The beautiful crisp air and clear skies continue, shortening the Winter if nothing else. Coming to me when I call them has it's advantages, 

the pair gave up trying to break through the ice and chose to follow me to an ice free exit.

Meanwhile the Oyster catchers take advantage of the sun drenched soft earth in Viewfield, looking for snacks.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Wildlife Photo Competition

Just a reminder to all the young wildlife photographers out there aged 8 to 15, about the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust Wildlife Photo Competition. Spring to Summer will present many opportunities to take nice photos, it could be an insect, a bird, an animal - any local wildlife at all.

Here are some of the photos I've taken locally of smaller wildlife, but beautiful just the same.

You can enter up to 3 photo's on just one entry form which can be downloaded HERE.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Duck Characters

It's good to see some old duck characters still on the go after quite a few years in the river. One of them I am particularly fond of is Hookie, a drake with a deformed left foot. I first noticed him in 2008, the foot is like a hook and think perhaps he was born with the deformity. He gets picked on by the other ducks, because he is different - just like most species! Nevertheless he has survived at least 7 years, and I do feed him when I see him.

Meanwhile the bantam call ducks are thriving and very bossy, they have no problem scaring off the Mallards. 

Sari and Jo are also doing OK, but Jo has an injured right leg, she can still use it but has a limp, hopefully she will recover completely.  This mild spell is causing a lot of excitement among the ducks, far too spring like !

The tufted ducks have now departed the river with the mild weather, what characters they are !

Saved Pigeon Rejoins Flock

With the Sun shining and the pigeon recovered, It was time to let it rejoin the flock this morning. It has been back several times with the flock for some food, I am happy with such a good result.  It's the light one on the bottom right.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Prodigal Returns

Valentine's Day, but no Love lost here !
One of the Cygnets came back to the river this morning, only to be expelled immediately by Popeye and Penny, this generation have to make their own way in the world now !

Spring is in the air, and our resident pair won't tolerate any incomers. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Pigeon Progress

The pigeon I have been treating after it's upper Mandible was pushed through it's lower mandible, is still with me. After letting it go the other day it returned to the Aviary and the other night it appeared to have respiratory difficulties. I could hear it wheezing badly with mouth open all the time, it sounded like an asthmatic in great difficulty. After consulting the avian web and my avian adviser down south I took the bird indoors into the warmth of the kitchen.

In view of the fact that the birds mouth was closed for many days the possibility that it was dehydrated and had a lung infection was very real. I made up a glucose type mixture which was water, salt, and sugar, that would help re-hydrate the bird. In addition my Avian adviser recommended Antibiotics tubed into the crop for any lung infection. After 3 days treatment the pigeon has ceased wheezing and is happily eating and recovering well. (short vid below)

The downside, is the kitchen is a mess with bird seed everywhere, but it's happy flying from kitchen unit to unit and looking good. I should be able to release it within a day or two.

Monday, 11 February 2013

High Tide - High Hopes

Yesterday 2 young Swans looking for a nesting site tried their chances, by landing in the river near the island. Popeye and Penny  wasted no time in escorting them out to Sea, it was instant Battle stations mode !

Today two new Goldeneye males arrived, no doubt following the female that showed up recently.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Reluctant Pigeon

After 4 days of TLC and 5 star service, the sick Pigeon was given it's freedom this morning. It has been preening and the tongue infection cleared, seemed keen to join the other pigeons outside the Aviary.

 I opened the Aviary door and it came out eating as it went and joined the others. However, when I returned this afternoon it was sitting alone back in the Aviary, seems like maybe too good to leave.

 It's not 100% yet so it can stay as long as it needs. (short vid above)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Trust Members Photos

George Berryman, one of our Trust members has sent in a few pics. The Brent geese are the ones often seen up near the Swimming baths feeding on the green rock weed.

 The lone Swan was taken today and it came into the river to be escorted away by our pair. I have to say it looks very like our previous pen, it would be sad if she has never got a new mate.

Nice shots of the Robin and Turnstones George.