Sunday, 7 May 2017

River Of No Returns

The 2 rescued ducklings were today returned to the river. After a warm and comfortable night in the brooder box with lots of food, I decided that I would try and introduce them to the 4 broods that have now hatched on the lower river.

The likelihood is that one of the mothers is theirs, and if not the chances are good that they will be adopted by one of the other mothers when they are all mingling at feeding time. It all went without a hitch and they are now with one of the mothers !

On a less happy note, I was informed by several people of 2 large bags of broken bottles in the river. 

Had no choice but to remove them before any of the wildlife were injured. In particular the swans, since they graze on the stones algae, and have many blood vessels in their webbed feet.

Careful as I was in trying to pick up every shard and sliver, I still managed to cut my fingers in 2 places ! Since these empties were only 20 yards from the bottle bank it is completely inexplicable !

To cap that, I then discovered what appeared to be a dead cat right beside the swans island moat. I had no choice but to remove it to the refuse bin beside the seaman's hall. It has been dead for quite some time and was pretty decayed. I thought initially it was a Hare, but the ears were more cat like, so if anybody has lost their cat in the last 2 months - this might be it. Other than the 2 ducklings, today this really was a river of no returns !


Wendy Grocott-Jones said...

Hi Joe, on a happier note, our resident swans, Vulcan and Venus, on the disused Sankey canal in Newton-Le-Willows, have 5 cygnets hatched on 05/05. All five are bundles of fluffy cuteness. However, there are two eggs still in the nest. Venus keeps turning them and sitting on them, but surely these won't hatch now? She leaves the nest to take the cygnets for a swim but when she returns to the nest she sits on the eggs. That leads to another question, do swans mate each time to create an egg or does one mating create a few eggs? These unhatched eggs could be infertile or perhaps they were not turned enough? What will Venus do with the eggs when she realises that they will not hatch? Should we remove them? Hope Penny and Duke are both blooming. Thanks, Joe x Wendy

jayteescot1 said...

Hi Wendy, That's good news on your cygnets. As for mating each time to create a fertile egg I am not entirely sure, but I don't think it's strictly necessary for each one. If the others don't hatch by tomorrow I would remove the eggs, as Venus will continue to return and sit on them and neglect the others.
Sometimes they die in shell and you can smell them when close enough, perhaps having been stuck in the nest and unable to turn them regularly enough.
Penny sometimes has one or two that don't hatch and I remove them after two or three days at most. This allows them to get on with the business of caring for the survivors.