Sunday, 31 January 2016

Pigeon Wing Improvement

After 5 days the pigeon with the broken wing finally picked off the bandage !  I have been giving it an anti inflammatory every day and this should have helped. The broken wing is now in a more natural position, but I will keep it in a confined brooding box for a few more days before putting it outside in the aviary. I want to make sure the wing has healed enough to allow gradual use before final release. 

Meanwhile it enjoys the company of a ducks Photo,  plenty of food and TLC, not to mention missing all the horrendous weather !

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Pigeon Wing Repair

Yet another Pigeon casualty visiting the garden. This one was trailing one wing on the ground and reluctant to fly. Easily caught, I had a close look and could see and feel the wing has been broken at the wrist. It has already started to mend in the wrong position and the wrist is a complex area for a break. I have bandaged it into a more correct position, but might be too late for a full fix, time will tell.

Saturday, 23 January 2016


The annual Trustees meeting of the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust took place last week.

All trustees were present except our Avian adviser who lives in Swindon and manages her own sanctuary.
Items discussed were how to eliminate the annual shortfall in funds - by recruiting more members, and the production of Trust related merchandise, like a 12 page Swan Calendar and perhaps other items for next Christmas. These items can be pre ordered by members in time for Christmas gift giving.  Trust membership has now reached 160 which includes family members. We also discussed the possibility of applying for Nurturing Nairnshire funds which will be looked into. One other major item for discussion was how we can offset the heavy increased predation by Crows on the new seasons cygnets and ducklings. The Trust has asked for and been given advice from SNH and others in this regard. 

One tactic which proved valuable last year was putting a dead Crow on the Swans island as a warning and deterrent to other crows to keep away during hatching time. 

The trust would like to repeat this and ask anyone who can supply a few dead Crows, perhaps road kills that I could freeze and then use during the cygnet hatching time to get in touch. Hoodie Crows are the biggest killers on the river, so having two or three placed around the Swans island might be a great help. The Trust would be entitled to use humane trapping methods, but this location might be upsetting to some people. 
Predation and dog disturbance of nesting ducks on the riverside means that more ducks are choosing to nest throughout the town away from the riverside. This means safer hatching , but often a long dangerous trek to a watercourse. 

Crossing busy roads and often Ducklings unable to escape from enclosed gardens or unusual places is a survival problem. With this in mind, the Trust will now have a mobile bird rescue number for members of the public to call or text. This will allow us to assist any mother duck with a trapped brood to get to safety.

We had occasion to do this successfully several times last year.  Maybe one day when we get a road bypass the ducks will stand less chance of being run over !  The library photo display organised by our secretary Morag Paterson, was lauded by many and gratefully acknowledged.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Two's Company

Our beautiful duo Popeye and Penny are in excellent condition and look great together. I had the opportunity during a short sunny spell for some in- step shots as they were coming for a feed. 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016


The proposal to increase ship to ship oil transfers in the Cromarty Firth gets a resounding NO from the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust. The Moray Firth is a narrow stretch of water and any accidental spill would be a calamity for the area. The Marine and coastal environment is precious and needs protection at all times. On behalf of our 159 members I have signed the online petition launched by the petition site. 

The past couple of weeks produced many exhausted seabirds washed up on the shores of the entire firth due to weather and tidal conditions, just imagine if an oil spill occurred during this time as well. I hope our local and regional councillors will also voice their official opposition to this proposal ! Anyone wishing to sign the online petition can do so HERE.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Cold Snap

After the coldest snap of the year so far, the ice on freshwater has brought in a tufted duck.

This little guy had no inhibitions about getting stuck into the grain along with the Mallards. 

The Harbour was also freezing over and the birds are keen to feed, 

keeping out the cold !

Friday, 15 January 2016

Bonnie Birds

Popeye and Penny chilling out during the big chill !

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Little Auk

Yet another Little Auk stranded on Nairn Beach this morning. A local dog walker brought me this Little Auk he found on central beach, it was exhausted and appears to have been blown off course with many other sea birds in recent days. 

These Arctic birds usually live and feed on plankton on the open sea during winter. It remains to be seen if it will survive.
UPDATE: In spite of my best efforts, sadly the Little Auk died within a few hours.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Heart Warming Reminder

With Winter weather on the way, what could be nicer than a heart warming reminder of the meaning of life!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Asleep In The Sun

After dull days of leaden skies, a brief respite with glorious sunshine bathing the riverside.

Popeye and Penny filled their crops then promptly fell asleep. 

Popeye could not hold his head up as the pics show.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Trust News

The annual Trustee meeting of the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust will be held on the 18th January.
Any Members wishing to raise any points for discussion are welcome to contact any trustee before this time with suggestions on matters concerning the Trust and it's activities. The current Trustees are Martin Shand Chair, Morag Paterson Secretary,  Joe Telfer Treasurer, and Sue Hulbert Avian Adviser. 
Trust email contact is,  or write  10 Douglas street Nairn IV124DJ.

Meanwhile I have just completed the Annual Accounts for the year 2015 - summary as follows : Outgoings £3178- 34.  Income £2674 -04,  This results in a deficit of £504-30, which is half the amount of last years deficit. The Trust has now been established for 3 years and membership is currently 158, most of whom are local. As Founder and Treasurer I would like to Thank all members for their continued support and goodwill.
We will continue to look after the welfare of our river birds and their environment.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Picture of Good Health

Happy New Year !  Something we wish everyone at this time of year is good health - this includes our river birds.

Popeye and Penny were indeed the picture of good health today, the chilly east wind increases their appetite.

Mixed wild bird seed, poultry pellets, wheat and wholemeal were the order of the day. 

A new photo season is under way with our happy pair and a few two headed Swan shots !

Friday, 1 January 2016

Goldeneye Return

Winter is closing in, I noticed the Goldeneye are back in the river.

No doubt the tufted ducks and others will soon follow when the temperature drops.