Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year !

I'd like to wish all my viewers a very Happy and Healthy New year, In spite of a bad case of Man Flu, no doubt caught at the local checkout. Some day they will see the wisdom in not having employees working with infectious conditions handling goods and spreading illness to all and sundry ! 

Meanwhile a reminder of the beauty of the past year, and the sadness of the loss of Popeye. 

Here's hoping Penny and Duke will carry on this year. Cygnets movie clip below.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Little Grebe Diving

For some weeks now the Little grebe has made the lower river it's winter home, feeding on sticklebacks and other pinhead fish.

                        I had the good fortune to see it close up and diving beside the Merryton bridge the other day. The powder puff effect is lovely and gives it warmth and buoyancy. You can see just how small it is beside an inquisitive Mallard - in the short diving clip below.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Para Pigeon Progress

Looks like the Pigeon with Paramyxovirus might well survive this deadly disease.

It no longer has the neck twisting contortions, and is able to fly in a controlled way. It has also started to eat unaided, although it's coordination is still not perfect.

It's 4 weeks since I found it sitting at my door, and appears to have fought off the worst of the illness.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas Day At The Island

Gale force winds tearing down the riverside, made for a very blustery Christmas day.

With temperatures near the mid teens melting hill snow, and yesterday's rain, the river was in spate. This forced the birds to the safety of the Swans Island.

Taking pics with 60 to 80 mile an hour gusts was a shaky affair, all the birds were keeping a low profile and Penny and Duke were leaving the orphan cygnets in peace. 

All the birds had a good Christmas feed - courtesy of the Trust.

A flock of Redshanks were also keeping down, and the duck that is still nesting came off the nest to have a quick feed.

If her eggs are viable they should be due to hatch any day now, conditions could hardly be worse for any ducklings getting hatched at this time of year. Long dark nights, high cold water, gale force winds and no food available - no chance of survival. - unless the Trust spots them first. Short clip below showing blustery conditions.

Friday, 23 December 2016


To All our Trust Members and viewers, a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year. 

Penny with one of Popeye's wee yin's.

Close up Portrait of Popeye, the original Big Daddy of 62 Cygnets fledged - on the First Ever Swans Nesting Island on the River Nairn !

             Gone but not forgotten.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Mid Winter Blues

Mid Winter today and Nairn Resident Linda brought me a pigeon this afternoon, severe damage to right wing looks like it has been hit by a vehicle. This presented me with a bit of a problem since I have another one with a very contagious para virus and has to be isolated, and 2 more recovering outside in a coop. In addition I have the neuro duck in my computer room ! The only answer was putting it in a small animal carrier in my living room - at least until I have given it enough medication for a fighting chance.

 Antibiotics and anti -bacterial cream on the wing wound. It looks a bit blue on this miserable mid winters day ! 

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Railway Bridge Update !

Had a call from Network rail today regarding fitting the bird diverters for the River Nairn railway viaduct. They say that they have to get planning to fit the diverters,  because they had to get planning for the fencing since it was on a building ! Apparently the cost will be £500 for the plastic diverters, they will keep me informed. 

There has already been 2 geese killed on the new fence !

Monday, 19 December 2016


The sick Pigeon sitting at my door at the beginning of the month is still alive. Initially I thought it was suffering from Salmonellosis a bacterial disease. However after 10 days of antibiotics it had not improved. The symptoms are very similar to Paramyxovirus which I now believe to be the real illness it is suffering from. As with most viruses there is no real treatment available. I have seen pigeons suffering from this before and it is pretty lethal. Around 70% of pigeons die but 30% can spontaneously recover after a month or so.

This one has survived nearly 3 weeks so far, but still has torsion of the neck and tends to hover / fly backwards. I have been hand feeding it 3 times a day, and it now preens itself and seems reasonable healthy. It will be interesting to see if it can overcome this virus. Short movie clip below.

Penny and Duke

Penny and Duke are still bonding well, and both look in great condition.

They continue to let the 2 orphan cygnets stick around, who are also in good form and flying on a regular basis.

With the Winter Equinox just days away and a dramatic change in the weather forecast over the Christmas period - maybe Penny will decide it's time for them to go!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Mottled Pigeon and Furry Feet

Couple of nice regular pigeons to my garden, one has Furry feet....keep them warm in winter ! 

The other is attractively mottled.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Neuro The Duck

Having lost Millie my dog this time last year, I knew it was the last dog I would ever have. I am not fit enough to have another, and in any case I have a new companion - Neuro my disabled Duck ! 

She was the runt of the rectory brood and unsteady on her feet with neurological damage, she is not keen on the water either which is surprising for a duck. She is happy to come indoors at night and  has now accepted me as a companion. 

While typing this post she is happy to sleep on my lap. There is something really special about being in tune, and having a connection with another species.  Movie clip below. 

Monday, 12 December 2016


It has been stressed by Cromarty Rising that the final licence decision on the ship to ship oil transfers will be made by the Transport Minister Chris Grayling.
For anyone wishing to email him on this matter here is his email address. 

Our local MP Drew Hendry can also be contacted at : 

Letting them know how you feel about this will help them realise the opposition is serious and widespread.
I have already emailed both of them.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Defending The Environment

The Nairn Beach Demonstration today was a huge success with over 500 people out to defend the Moray firth  environment. 

The organisers Cromarty Rising were well pleased with the Nairn people's turnout and it made for an impressive line up along the beach.

Interestingly this beach was used for the D - Day training landings during World War 2 , Let's hope this war against the Ship to Ship oil transfers is also won !

There are so many downsides to this idea that it's hard to believe that they could get the go ahead.

However we must all do our utmost to stop this dangerous scheme before it ever starts !  I have already written to our Local MP voicing the opposition of our 170 Members of the Trust. 

We have a direct interest in stopping this proposal, since our Swans and cygnets spend a lot of time feeding on the seaweed along this shore line, along with Brent geese and other sea birds.

This environment is way more important than extra oil bucks for Cromarty port authority. 

Selection of photos of the demo today, some were suitably dressed for the occasion too !

Short movie clip showing beach defences !