Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Rescue Duck Delivers

Regular viewers will recall the Rescued Halloween ducks of two years ago, three of the females survived, Sari, Jo and their sister. 

Today the sister turned up with a beautiful brood of 12 ducklings ! This is her first brood that I'm aware of, and I fervently hope she doesn't lose them all.

She allowed me a close up view, and what a beautiful sight of such a natural wonder - Enjoy.

Again I would ask people NOT to throw Bread at them, this would be fatal by alerting the seagulls and crows to their presence.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

First Island Brood

Today I saw my first brood of Ducklings on the river, the mother appeared from the Swans island with 6 tiny ducklings. As always, they are incredibly cute and endearing, after a brief swim she took them back onto the island for a warm up.

The weather could have been better with a chilly sea breeze blowing up the riverside.

Hoping this is the first brood of many, for we will no doubt lose the majority to predators - this is the saddest part of spring for me. I would ask people not to attempt throwing bread to these tiny ducklings , since they are too small to eat it and only attracts crows and gulls to their presence, please don't do it.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Pigeon Virus Video

Brought home another Pigeon suffering from the Paramyxovirus today. Short video below showing some of the effects on the birds coordination.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Pigeon Virus

Yet again I have been unable to save another beautiful Pigeon from the Paramyxovirus which is affecting the feral pigeons of the town. 

This was pigeon number 4 that has succumbed to this nasty killer. The Neurological effects mean that the Pigeons lose coordination and are unable to pick up food by missing it with their beaks.
Other symptoms include, increased water intake combined with reduced feed consumption, emaciation,
paralysis of the legs, timidity, torsion of the neck, twisting movements of the body, overturning and walking backwards.  It's a truly horrible virus and most pigeons die. 

One survivor who is currently only managing to eat because I have placed a tub at my door where it is able to pick up seeds, even though missing what it's aiming for !  It remains to be seen if it can last a month where it might develop a resistance to the virus.

Meanwhile some of the affected flock are ganging up at my door !

Saturday, 19 April 2014


The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust would like to thank the CUSTOMERS and STAFF of the CO-OP King street Store Nairn, for their very generous £160-44 fund raising effort. It is greatly Appreciated by the Trust, and will be used exclusively for the welfare of the River Birds, THANK YOU !

Monday, 14 April 2014

Mandarin Duck - Part 2

Fellow Trust Member and keen Bird man George Berryman has kindly sent in some stunning shots of the Mandarin Duck in Forres.

These beautiful birds might well be nesting in the area, and what a boost to the exotic species if they produce ducklings !  

Thursday, 10 April 2014

On Guard

Penny our resident mother Swan, has now settled down to incubate her clutch. So far this years weather has been kind to the birds, and things look promising for another good year on the river.

Popeye her mate is now on full time guard duty, and looks in excellent condition for the job. This guy is a rib breaker, I can vouch for that !!  It's good to know we now have 120 River Trust members also keeping an eye out for their welfare.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Mild Winter = More Disease

After the mildest winter I can ever recall, there appears to be a downside as far as feral pigeons are concerned.
As most gardeners know hard winter frosts can have a beneficial effect by killing off some bugs and diseases. It seems the same goes for certain bird disease such as pigeon pox, again this viral disease only affects pigeons. I have noticed our flock of feral pigeons are currently suffering from several pigeon viruses, some of which have no cure. Perhaps the recent loss of roosting sites, combined with the mild winter have helped spread the infections. Sick birds are often slow and reluctant to fly, making them easy prey for Sparrowhawks and cats. I am currently looking after a third sick pigeon although it's chances are poor, it has a 30% chance of survival.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Nesting Season - Dogs

The nesting season is now well underway for many bird species, the ducks are now moving to their nesting sites leaving mainly single drakes on the lower reaches. The Swans too have started nesting for the 7th year on the river.
The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust would like to remind all dog owners to keep their dogs under close control especially during the breeding season April - July. Ground nesting birds like ducks and swans are particularly vulnerable, and the onus is on the dog owner to prevent their dogs from killing and injuring wildlife.
The enclosed Images were caused by dogs not under control !

Please conform to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code on dogs and dog walking