Friday, 26 December 2014

Ice Maidens

Heavy overnight frost ensured a covering of ice on any still water, this meant the island moat had a glaze this morning. 

Penny led the way as chief ice breaker, and the cygnets tried nibbling their way along !

 The ducks wisely stayed near the running water at Merryton bridge.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Island Feast

With a weather turnaround the sun shining and a crisp dry frost, we could hardly get a nicer Christmas day.
The Swans island and moat had a little ice, but not enough to freeze over completely.

 The birds were waiting for their Christmas day Feast , which I was glad to deliver. Wheat grain, grower pellets, carrots, mixed bird seed and wholemeal bread!

 They got stuck in, cackled and quacked with enthusiasm. 

It's a positive joy to see these lovely creatures contented in their environment, we are privileged to have them here. (Short clip below.) Merry Christmas !

Wednesday, 24 December 2014


A very Happy Christmas and New Year to all my viewers.  A Special Thanks to Trust members and George for keeping the birds fed during my illness, good health to all!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Mid-Winter Darkness

The gloom of mid- winter is upon us with weather to match, we seem to have been stuck with the worst type of winter weather, cold wet and windy !
After giving Sari a weeks course of antibiotics in the hope of saving the sight in her left eye I got a bad prognosis today from our avian adviser Sue Hulbert. I sent sue some photos of sari's eye and Sue is of the opinion that the eye sight has already been lost. 

This is a real mid- winter downer for me, the long darkness of winter is bad enough, but the darkness of blindness is far worse.
I can only hope that whatever ails Sari, that it wont spread to the other eye, and maybe the antibiotics will have helped in that respect. I will need to keep a close watch on this beautiful duck.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Harbouring an Otter

This afternoon while feeding the swans in the Harbour, I saw an Otter fishing along the harbour walls.
Unfortunately I did not have my camera, but  you can check out previous sightings by me by typing in the word Otter in the search box on my blog page. This will give you many pages and pics covering the Otter sightings.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Sari Gets Treatment

Some days ago I noticed that Sari one of our light coloured ducks had a bad eye, it was being pecked by some other ducks to stay away. This is normal behaviour because they don't want to catch whatever is ailing the sick duck. Her left eye had a white membrane cover as though infected and going blind, she cannot see on her left side and mostly kept the eye shut. 

I decided that a course of antibiotics might be the only hope of saving the eye. Getting to her is a real problem because it has to be administered orally by way of food. With about 150 birds all wanting to eat as well, it's a pretty tricky business !  I'm half way through the course and hoping it will work, watch this space !

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Happy Families

The daily feed makes for a happy family of Swans and ducks !

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

White Cygnets....Almost

After a long absence from feeding the River birds, I managed to again get up close to my river friends. It was a joy to hear the happy sounds from the ducks, and Penny giving me a long stare as though asking where have I been !

The cygnets are pretty white now, and in great shape, and it looks like the parents will keep them until we are heading for spring.

Monday, 8 December 2014


A BIG Thank You to all the doctors and staff of the High dependency unit and Ward 11 of Raigmore hospital, for the care and attention I received over the last few weeks. I am indebted to you and the NHS.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Nearly COPD It !

Today I was released from Hospital after a severe case of pneumonia in both lungs, frankly at one point I thought I was a goner !

For over 15 years I have suffered from a progressive illness called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ) I have coped well with this as long as I did not fall prey to any chest infections.

However, After numerous blood tests during treatment, it transpired that I am extremely susceptible to the dust and dander of pigeons, leaving me open to a condition known as "pigeon fanciers lung." 
Unfortunately this means I will no longer be able to handle and care for sick pigeons, which is a sad state of affairs for me.

The recent care and handling of pigeons was the trigger for this attack of pneumonia, so any future sick or injured pigeons will now have to go straight to the Scottish SPCA 03000 999 999.

I would like to thank all those well wishers and people of good will for their kind thoughts and wishes.
I was so out of it and unable to get online, hence no updates for a while. I am still pretty weak and likely to take some weeks to fully recover.

The Trust has continued to feed the river birds daily in spite of my absence, and proves the wisdom of setting up the Trust for just such an eventuality ! Friend and fellow Trust member George Stephen has been feeding the birds on my behalf, the trust is grateful to George and we all thank him !

The trust still seeks financial support from the public as well as new members, feel free to donate if you can. Thanks.