Thursday, 31 March 2016

Mating - Swan Lake

Popeye and Penny are still in the business of creating new offspring to grace our river.

My camera has been sent away for repair, but currently using my canon power shot over the last week. 

Sequence shows our beautiful duo doing their Swan lake - Enjoy !

Wednesday, 30 March 2016


Finally after 12 days without an internet connection, I have been re- connected. This has been a really infuriating time, unable to send or receive email, or upload to the blog and deal with other important issues.
The internet is now part of our lives and vital to all of us. I shall now pursue BT for compensation !

Meanwhile down on the river, Penny is laying and Popeye is on guard duty.

Most of the ducks are now away nesting but we could all do with a bit of warmth, to get the insect life on the go for any new ducklings that might soon be on the go. I have taken a series of photos over the last week and will put them on over the coming days.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016


Still waiting on BT for Internet service......I am Livid !!!

Thursday, 24 March 2016


My apologies for no recent updates, My Internet connection has been down for nearly a week, and I am unable to get BT to deliver my service !  I have taken to the local library to post this message.

Meanwhile I can tell you that Popeye and Penny are mating and nest building in earnest !

I have taken some nice shots and will post them when I get back online.
Have also rescued another 2 female ducks, and currently treating one for a broken toe bone !

Hopefully back online soon !!

Friday, 18 March 2016

Duck Release and Merganser

Having inspected the rehab duck this morning, I decided to release her back to the river.

Her back had healed with new feather growth, so it was time to let her go.
Down by the Island a Merganser was basking on a rock

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Spring in the Air

Approaching the Spring Equinox and spring in the air has prompted an exodus of ducks from the lower river, dispersing throughout the area looking for nest sites.

As always I hope this is not too early, since the changeable climate can be cruel well into April.

 Meanwhile Popeye and Penny are flirting on a daily basis and slowly preparing the nest site.

Penny continues to seek out Algae and scours the harbour Pontoons and boat hulls for the meagre growth.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Duck Healed

After 3 weeks rehab, the injured duck is now back to full health. She is now flying and regrown new feathers on her back. I will release her later this week away from the Drakes, and let her seek out her mate in her own time.

She has been eating a high protein diet of mealworm, grower pellets, and soft lettuce to aid feather growth, also regained some lost weight. It's nice to get a good result and be able to return her to the wild. Short clip below showing healed back and wing.

Saturday, 12 March 2016


The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust have won our bid for £800 from the Nurturing Nairnshire funding event. The Trust would like to thank all those People who gave up their Saturday morning to vote for me and our project to enhance the Nairn Riverside. I would also like to thank everyone who voted for me from those organisations present, it is greatly appreciated.

My sympathies to the very worthy groups and individuals who were not successful, I feel so many were good causes and good motives who were denied the funding. 

There were 32 groups and projects in for funding, but only 14 were successful. I was dreading the event, for I have never spoken to a large audience before, and as it happens I missed out a paragraph of my speech due to nerves. Had I been addressing a flock of 100 or more swans and ducks I would have been in my element !!

That said, the event went better than most would have anticipated, it seemed overly long for some, and the auditorium sound left much to be desired by me and others I think. The variety of good causes and willing volunteers was a credit to Nairn. Everyone who registered to vote, had 5 votes to cast, in my case only a few of my choices came through as winners. I will now get the ball rolling to get the promised trees and shrubs organised for planting along the lower riverside.

Most of these will be cell grown and take years to mature, the shrubs and bushes will be quicker to get established. There are many areas of the Town that could be utilised for enhancement, by planting trees bushes and shrubs of all descriptions. There is nothing nicer than a Town that is well endowed with plant life. Scotland has a short Summertime, and anything we can do to make it vibrant, colourful, more pleasant and attractive should be welcomed. 

The Trust will continue to improve the riverside and care for the wildlife for the benefit of all. If there are people out there who have potted up any broom, gorse, rowan or bird cherry trees, and don't need them you can always pass them on to us and we'll get them planted along the  lower riverside ! 

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Duck Delight

What a difference in the injured duck after 2 weeks treatment. She can now fly which was my main concern, her ability to escape too many amorous drakes at this time of year is vital.

The injury which originally caused all her problems was a damaged right wing, 

this meant she could not fly to escape amorous drakes resulting in lacerations to her back.

These have now healed after saline baths, antibiotics, and antibacterial cream. She will be released once her back has new feather growth showing.

                            I am delighted with the results !

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

A Thing Of Beauty

Sunlight bathed the Swans today, the warmth could be felt although the water was chill.

Penny preened, drifted and raised a foot to catch the Sun's rays, the scene was idyllic.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Spring Stramash

Many of the ducks are now starting to disperse to potential nesting sites throughout the riverside.


Spring is in the air and the Drakes are fighting for supremacy. This morning a real stramash  between 4 and eventually down to 2, as each one dropped out.

For those of you not acquainted with the Scots word "Stramash", it means a noisy fighting uproar ! 

Friday, 4 March 2016

Riverside Enhancement - We Need Your Vote

Next weekend on Saturday the 12th March, there will be a chance to vote for Nairn Riverside to become more attractive. Nurturing Nairnshire Community Grant fund, will be up for grabs in the Nairn Community Centre. I will represent The River Nairn Swans And Waterfowl Trust and be bidding for £800 to Enhance the Riverside. The Trust would like to Plant approx 120 Trees bushes and shrubs, and help to beautify Nairn Riverside a little more.

 The aim is to provide Rowan, Bird cherry, and Hawthorn that will eventually provide berries for the birds, and give some more colour for all to enjoy. The bushes and shrubs will consist of Broom, Gorse, Roses and Honeysuckle giving fragrance and colour, this will also provide shelter and cover for the wildlife. 
This fund is supposed to be a community empowerment exercise, but frankly the rules are anything but !

To Vote you have to register between 9-30 and 10am on Saturday morning at the community centre, and then stay for 3 hours listening to all those who are bidding for funds. Each bidder has to give their pitch for 2 minutes then have a 2 minute Q& A. You will not be able to vote until everyone has given their pitch, and to make it more awkward, you have to vote for 5 different projects for the vote to be valid. WARNING - if you vote for more or less than 5, YOUR VOTE WILL BE INVALID and wont count !! 

The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust is a voluntary group and already does it's best to care for the lower river by monitoring pollution and river conditions, picking up litter, and caring for the waterfowl. We would like the riverbanks enhanced with blossom, colour, and vibrant with bird life.
You can help make this happen by going to the Nairn community centre next Saturday the 12th and voting for us.
Anyone can vote, but you do have to register !!
Refreshments will be available at 1 pm. 

Thursday, 3 March 2016


Popeye and Penny are waiting for the spring Equinox later this month. This usually comes just after the March Spring tides, when serious mating and nesting gets under way.

Meanwhile the injured duck is recovering well, and also waiting until she gets released...always keeps a close wary eye on me though !

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Mystery Solved !

Was shown a Skeleton bird leg the other day and was intrigued by the tag and what type of bird it might have been. The leg was found on Nairn beach by Fiona Christie, so I sent a photo to the RSPB who kindly did a bit of research and came back with the following explanation,  all very Interesting !

Hi Joe
It's taken a wee bit of digging to find out but the bird is a shag that was ringed on one of the Firth of Forth islands in 2015 - last previous sightings were on the Isle of May in December.  Sounds like it headed north after that and succumbed in the winter storms.

Many thanks for the record - it's provoked a lot of interest amongst the shag ringers!