Monday, 30 June 2014

Chilly For June

Been another eventful day on the River, but the weather is still poor for the time of year, already past mid - summer. The new rescued brood of 9 were also being kept warm by Mum, with regular body warmings in between swimming and foraging around the Aviary, they are incredibly cute at this age.

This morning I also released twin ducklings into the river,only to see them beat a hasty retreat from the hungry hoards of river residents.

Having had no contact with any other ducks since hatching 6 weeks ago, they were timid and hid on the riverbank until the afternoon before rejoining the other ducks. This evening they had adjusted to the fact that they are not the only ducks in the world and should be fine.

The annual carnage among the young seagulls has also begun, with a concerned local resident leaving a badly injured seagull in my garden for attention. A quick inspection showed it had a compound leg fracture and internal injuries causing breathing difficulty. I had no choice but to pass it to the Scottish SPCA who immediately put it to sleep. It's a sad fact that some people intentionally run over these young birds, as I once witnessed in Harbour street. This is callous and cruel behaviour.  

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Glebe Road Rescue

Thanks to Mr and Mrs Cameron of Glebe Road, I was able to help rescue a mother duck and her 9 ducklings today.

This is the second brood that has come from this area, and seems a favoured spot to nest by some ducks.

Quick thinking by Mr and Mrs Cameron by providing water and food on their patio for the mother and her brood, then contacting me has helped save this fortunate duck family. The previous mother from this area was run over trying to cross King street some weeks ago, a fate this Mother has been spared.

After a donation from Mr and Mrs Cameron to provide for the ducklings feed and care for the next few weeks,  the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust is happy to grant them a years Membership. The duck family will be released back to the river when it is safe to do so. This Mother duck is known to me and is one of our elder ladies. 

After a quick check of her new facilities she had a bath and allowed the ducklings to enjoy their new temporary home.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Two Short Films

Having a little nostalgia trip right now and perhaps many of our new Trust members have never seen  my efforts at making a couple of short films about the Nairn Swans,  and 

Steven Seagull. About 5 or 6 minutes each. Click on the links. Enjoy !

Friday, 20 June 2014

Two New Broods

The ducklings have as usual been devastated by the predators, 77 killed so far with 8 surviving and another 12 that I recently returned to the river.

However the season is not yet over and another two broods have shown up.

With better weather and more cover available, perhaps more of these will survive the onslaught of the Heron , Crows and Seagulls !

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Return To The Wild

Five weeks after being run over by a car while trying to cross King street, the Mother duck and her 3 remaining ducklings were finally released into the river. 

Her broken wing has calloused over but she will be unable to fly. This is a severe handicap at present, because the Drakes are still chasing the females and she will be unable to escape their advances.
She is likely to be hiding out and keeping a low profile for a wee while yet.

However the ducklings have had a good start and are already showing an interest in joining some other youngsters.

Monday, 16 June 2014

The Beauty of Summer

Today was one of those idyllic Summer days where natural beauty comes to the fore, a simple thing like our family of Swans traversing the river rapids,

how refreshing !

Sunday, 15 June 2014

All Alone

The lone duckling has lost it's friend.

Sadly in spite of my best efforts the sick duckling got weaker by the hour and finally died, leaving the tiny new duckling all alone.

If we had a new brood on the river I would have tried to add it in, but no such luck. Some shots of the wee one with it's sick friend and now all alone.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Canadian Visitors

Was talking to a couple of Canadian visitors yesterday, and today we have a couple of Canada geese visiting the river. 

This pair were enjoying a little break on their journey, when Popeye decided he did not want any competition and chased them away.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Lone Duckling

Yesterday evening I spotted a lone newly hatched duckling getting attacked by older ducklings when it attempted to get close to their Mother. I watched for some 20 minutes while the little duckling got pecked continuously with no sign of any apparent Mother. It had either come from upstream or the Mother had been chased or targeted by drakes and effectively left the little one to fend for itself. In the end I had no choice but catch and bring it home, otherwise it would have been taken by gulls, crows or the heron.

Today I took it back down to the river in the hope that I would spot the Mother with perhaps some other ducklings, sadly after 2 hours I did not see any other newly hatched ducklings. As it happens I have another month old sick duckling in the brooder, it belongs to the mother that was run over and has a broken wing.

It looks like I will have to rear this little one until it's safe to release to the river.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Bad Hair Day

Some sunshine gave me the opportunity for a few close-ups of the cygnets.

Note - one getting a hairdo !

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Active Week

Has been a pretty active week with the transfer of the 9 saved ducklings into the river, and moving the mother with the broken wing and her ducklings into the Aviary.

Also found a dead cat in the moat beside the Swans island earlier in the week. 

After contacting the Vets, it was claimed by someone near Harbour street. It had been dead for nearly a week and I had to remove it for fear of contamination. The other 2 ducklings I hatched in the house have now been moved to the coop.

 So far 76 ducklings have been taken by predators, leaving only 9 surviving - excluding the ones I have managed to save. 

Cygnets are growing fast and I try and give them some soft grass every day, so if you want to feed them, then pull some nice soft green grass - much better than white bread which has no nutritional value.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Grey Water Sewage ?

Seems that some people are unconvinced that sewage comes into the river Nairn when we have a downpour and the system gets overwhelmed. 

Perhaps the enclosed photos taken by me might settle the issue - since I am in the river a couple of times every day. Judge for yourself ! Would not normally display such items, but truth has to come out ! 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Growing Cygnets

Three weeks and already the cygnets are the size of Mallards, a few more pics showing the growing family. Short Video clip below.