Thursday, 26 September 2013

Wise Avian Adviser

This week I have had the pleasure of a visit from Sue Hulbert, The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust Avian adviser. Sue has come up to Nairn at her own expense from Swindon, where she runs a wildlife Sanctuary. 

Sue does excellent work down south caring for sick and injured animals and birds of all kinds, and has been kind enough to Mentor me, passing on her wisdom on the care aspect of waterbirds in particular. 

Some of the success I have achieved has been down to her good advice gained over 26 years, caring for Waterfowl and her previous knowledge as a wildlife ranger. 

She has enjoyed her few days in Nairn inspecting our river water birds and the beach area, and has been taken by the natural beauty of the place. Her verdict on our birds..... " they are extremely healthy and in excellent condition - wonderful !"

Sue gave me a beautiful gift photograph she took, of 3 Tawny owls of different ages she was nursing, as you can see it's a beauty ! 

Above are some of the variety of cases she has successfully handled, and a pic of Sue herself taken on the river today. The Trust is grateful for her membership, Free help and advice, and has our support and admiration always.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Salmon Fate Sealed

After returning from the South Nairn Demo, I returned to my usual duties of feeding the waterbirds, only to see them take fright and head up river. 

The resident Seal was taking advantage of the high tide to do a spot of Salmon fishing.

 Although at some distance, I managed to get some shots of the action as it unfolded, with the Seal catching a salmon and devouring it before my eyes. 

Interestingly using it's front flippers to hold the fish whilst eating it - resembling an Otter. 

The sequence of shots tells the story.

People Power Wins

As an Advocate of people power and the belief that Nairn needs a By-pass and upgraded infrastructure, I was obliged to turn up for the united Demonstration against the South Nairn development plan this morning. I was pleased to see a wide section of the Nairn public , including some Trust members voicing their rights.

Latest news is that the region planning committee has turned down the development plans by 13 votes to 8 after an amendment by two of our local councillors Laurie Fraser and Michael Green, well done to them for backing Nairn and the common sense approach.

 This victory may be short lived since the developers can appeal. As mentioned previously the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust has no objection to sensible housing development provided the roads and infrastructure is there to support it. 

The River is of prime importance to the local economy, wildlife and tourism, and must be kept as pristine as possible, this means adequate sewerage treatment and infrastructure to handle any new housing added to Nairn housing stock. Some photos showing some of the protesters this morning, Well done !

Monday, 16 September 2013

Cygnets Bathe

With Rain in the hills the river was in spate today, should please the anglers with only a few weeks left of the fishing season.

The Cygnets used the high water to thrash around, and strengthen their legs against the stronger current.

They finished up bathing and having a frolic around in the swirling waters.

Sunday, 15 September 2013


This week saw the birthday of Millie my dog, for the record she is now 14 and the longest lived Labrador I have ever owned. 

Many of the locals thought she had already passed away since I now only take her out once a day for  a short walk, due to her age and leg infirmity.

 As all dog owners know, they are great companions and bring a lot of fun and joy into a household.

Millie has enjoyed life to the full, been well behaved and never harmed a living thing. 

Some snaps of memorable moments over the past 14 years.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Nairn Ceilidh Group - A Big Thank You !

The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust are honoured and very grateful to receive a generous Donation of £200 this evening from  The Nairn Ceilidh Group . The Group do very charitable fund raising, and  give out thousands of pounds annually to Charities and good causes. This is a very welcome financial boost, and will be used for the welfare and benefit of the River Waterfowl to be enjoyed by the whole community. The Trust look after the welfare and Environment of the 150 birds that currently reside on the Tidal reaches of the River Nairn. This includes supplying approx 3 tons of Grain and feed over the course of a year. In addition to this, we attend to any veterinary needs as required, and deal with injuries and the Scottish SPCA as the need arises. There has been in excess of 25 rescues this season ranging from Swans with hooks and line, to injured ducks pigeons and seagulls. 
This year has been a great success for the waterbirds due to the exceptional summer weather, with 45 new ducklings surviving and of course the entire Swan family of 11.

The cost to the voluntary Trust, is in the region of £1800 a year from donations and membership fees. The Trust is voluntary and no payments are made to any of the Trustees. We can assure the Nairn Ceilidh Group that all of their kind donation will be spent on the welfare of the River wildlife, to be enjoyed by all the Residents and visitors to Nairn.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Nairn Demo - Update !

The Demonstration of people power opposed to the South Nairn housing project has now been officially changed to next Wednesday the 18th of September. A full page advert in todays Nairnshire Telegraph is a call to all the residents of Nairn to show backing for their Local Community Councils, in opposing the Highland regions plans for a large housing scheme without their approval. 
The River Nairn Swans and waterfowl trust are fully supportive of this demonstration on environmental grounds, and consider a Bypass for the Town and full upgrade of the sewage system should be the first step for any further large scale development in Nairn. Enclosed part of the advert below !

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Flying Tonight

Was fortunate enough to be on the Merryton bridge today when Penny decided to get the cygnets to start flying training. 

The Northerly breeze was ideal to allow the right kind of conditions for flying into the wind.

Penny led the way, showing them what she wanted by flying about 3 foot from the surface.

The cygnets did the business, but only by running along the surface and using their wings for lift, they did not actually take to the air completely.

Their progress was watched closely by Penny and Popeye who was bringing up the rear, 

since he is in full molt and will not be able to fly for about another 10 days. With a six foot wingspan they need all the space they can get. The sequence of pics tells the story.