Thursday, 30 January 2014


New Trust member, Barry Searle sent in a couple of nice shots of the Heron the other day.
Barry is a keen photographer and is a regular on the riverside and around Nairn. He also sent me a pic of the new cygnet arrival that seems to have taken up residence in the quarry pool at the Golf View Hotel. 

Have a feeling it is Solo's sibling that was dumped in the river by the parents a few weeks back, looks about the same age.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Urban Otter !

Heard today from one of the regular river walkers an interesting story. It appears that his relative coming along the high street in the early hours about 3am, near the top of Gordon street, saw a strange animal, after watching closer he realised it was in fact an Otter ! When he told me this I did not doubt it, the lane beside Constabulary gardens leads down to the river and the factors pool. It's perfectly possible that the otter headed up the lane in the wee small hours. Now we have a town centre Otter ! I have seen Otters on several occasions over the years, but the best sighting was in the harbour some years ago, video can be seen on this link

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Flying Cygnets

Sometimes I am just in time to get the camera out of the case to catch a shot. 

Yesterday was one of those times when I realised the cygnets were about to take off and head towards me at feeding time. It only takes a few seconds for them to fly a hundred metres or so and the camera sometimes takes too long to focus.

Blurred images are the result, but occasionally it gets it right if you are following the speed of the bird.

With a two metre wingspan they are magnificent in flight !

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Bond of Love

After 6 seasons producing beautiful cygnets, Popeye and Penny continue to show their offspring the importance of lifelong parental unity and commitment.

Swans are renowned for their lifelong pairing, and this is true when they have successfully reared cygnets, the bond is reinforced and lasts a lifetime.      

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Breakfast For Roland ?

Seems like the usual uneducated few are still doing their own thing when it comes to feeding the wildlife down by the Merryton bridge.

Dumping a load of breakfast cereal onto the ground beside the bridge will only serve to feed Roland the Rat. If this was intended for the ducks then it should have been put in the water, where it might have been eaten. However swans and ducks do not like hard crispy inedible things, so please don't dump your old breakfast cereals into the river. Of course it could have been put there intentionally as a means of causing mischief, which would not surprise me at all.

Monday, 20 January 2014

River Pollution - UPDATE.

Scottish Water have told me they will investigate.

Another pollution incident yesterday just above the Nairn A96 roadbridge, don't know what it was but sure it shouldn't be going into the river ! 

Appears to be coming from a fractured or blocked pipe above the Main sewer. I have informed SEPA and Scottish water.
Our 109  Trust members would like to see this fixed !

Friday, 17 January 2014

Nairn Swans Flock

Still no serious attempt to chase the cygnets away yet, lack of real winter weather might be the cause, since Penny and Popeye seem unconvinced that winter is on the way out. It's beginning to look like we have our own flock of Swans with the cygnets getting whiter every day. This will present it's own problems with other young swans likely to think they can join our flock, only to be ousted by Popeye and Penny !

Meanwhile Salty takes advantage of human error, when someone failed to close the litter bin properly.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Cygnets Sortie

Today I received a nice shot of 7 of the Cygnets flying last Sunday mid morning, the photo was taken by Barry Searle. 

Have edited and cropped the original photo in order that you can see the original size of birds that Barry sent to me. Have not had too much of a chance to catch the birds in flight myself this year.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Mild Wet Winter

The exceptional mild weather continues locally, and we are already seeing the days getting longer. So far it looks like it's going to be a mild wet winter compared to recent years. The Cygnets are still in the river and this is the longest that Popeye and Penny have kept any of their broods around. Perhaps the lack of proper winter weather has delayed their departure.

It is also noticeable that some species that normally arrive in the river at this time are not yet here, like the tufted ducks and pintail.

There is a female Goldeneye but as yet no males to be seen. 

Here are some pics of our river birds in previous winters.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Salty Inspects BT Handiwork

BT Openreach were again out to the lethal telephone wires at Broadhill last week to add some more cable ties (bird diverters) to the lines. This is supposed to make them more visible to the Birds, I have my doubts since the cable ties are no thicker than the lines themselves ! 

A swan flying between 40 and 50 miles an hour, needs time to veer away from any object it sees. Salty the seagull was giving it the once over when I showed up.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Swans Etiquette

Our resident Swans seem very confident and relaxed about keeping their cygnets around for a while yet.

Perhaps they know that winter has not yet arrived, and having them around has a deterrent effect on any mature swans looking for a new home.

Meanwhile they are teaching them the fine art of Courting etiquette, with periodic displays of bonding, and how to behave with members of the opposite sex. All very beautiful to watch.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Looking Good

Looks like we have 3 male and 5 female cygnets, it is more noticeable when seeing them in a line with neck length being the most obvious indicator.

Penny is again getting a bit antagonistic to them with the nights getting a wee bit shorter and the continuing mild weather pointing to spring.

They are all looking good.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Island of Dreams

Popeye and Penny have eased up on their offspring with the weather being so unpredictable, but the separation has already taken place, it's all a question of when they decide they don't want them in the river anymore.

Meanwhile the cygnets are being allowed to sleep and rest on the island of their birth as often as they like. 

The high tides last week have ensured that the moorhens and ducks have been sharing the place too. 

The dipper has also been working the shallows around Merryton. Today saw a young year old cygnet trying to join our lot, only to be chased away by Popeye, heading off in the direction of Auldearn.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Trustee Meeting - Any Questions ?

The Trustees of the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust will meet later this month for Annual discussions. Any members who have any questions they would like to ask, or any suggestions for the Trustees, please contact us. Either by email to:  or by post to: 10 Douglas street, Nairn, IV12 4DJ.
Anonymous enquiries will be rejected.