Friday, 26 October 2018

Arctic Chill

First blast of winter, with Northerly winds from the Arctic sweeping up river. 

Forgot to put my gloves on and felt it !  Cygnets and ducks keen for their daily grain ration, and I spotted the female Scaup still amongst the Ducks. Short video clips of Scaup and Cygnets squeaking for their food below.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Scaup And Scarper !

Seems we have a new visitor in the river today. Thought it was a Tufted duck at first, but now think it may be a Scaup.

Broad bill, and no sign of a tuft on the head, appears to be tagging along with the ducks.

Other news this week, includes one of the big cygnets having been chased off by Penny and Duke. It has tried to come back a few times but gets chased away again.

Was one of the large males, perhaps has been too dominant and Penny decided it was time for him to go. 

This is not the first time she has done this, sometimes the potential pairing within the family causes Penny to take action. This particular male was very dominant.  

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Family Flies In

Very blustery wind this morning, no sign of Swans initially but pleasantly surprised to see them later flying up river. What a sight !

They made a Pass over the Merryton bridge and then swung around the Fishertown, before heading back up river towards me, landing close to the bridge - Just beautiful !

                                        Almost impossible to stay in focus with such fast moving images. 

Sequence of shots tells the story.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Away Day

Our Swan family had an away- day yesterday, returning today amid a spate on the river.

They had the security of the island, along with the ducks enjoying a meal of Wheat, growth pellets, and mixed wild bird seed. 

Quite a few trees washed down the river and likely to sit there for some time, as the high spring tide has passed last week. 

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Departure Looming ?

Nine Swans observed flying over the Dunbar golf course this morning, most likely Penny, Duke and the cygnets. 

There have been signs of Penny distancing herself from the youngsters lately, it looks like she is preparing for the final goodbye to this years brood.

The timing is about right, as this would give her 6 months R and R before the next breeding season.
The cygnets are in great condition, having had an exceptional start to life this year. 

They have been flying for a month now and quite capable of life without Penny and Duke.
With rain forecast for the next 18 hours, the river will be high tomorrow and might suit the departure of the cygnets at this time. In any case, I think they will be gone this Autumn and unlikely to remain until spring. 

Penny is the Matriarch and will dictate the course of events, as she has done for the past 11 seasons - she is one remarkable Swan ! 

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Cygnets Fly !

With a spring tide and favourable south westerly wind, the cygnets had a brief flight up river this morning.

Penny started them off, then sat back to watch their progress. 

Short movie clip below.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Looking Good

Blustery day and leaves turning rapidly, Autumn well under way. 

The Swans are looking good, and cygnets also turning steadily whiter.

Penny and Duke with new plumage looking immaculate. 

No sign of them wanting to chase the cygnets away yet. Previous swans 14 years ago used to offload their cygnets on the 6th of October, regular as clockwork ! 

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Dragon Fly

Surprising visitor on this chilly blustery day, with leaves falling and sudden gusts - a Dragon fly dropped into the garden. 

Have seen this species before, but usually during the Summer weather.

Tried taking some Macro shots as it rested on the side of the aviary. 

The true beauty of these flyers can be seen in the close detail. 

Species may be an Emperor, or Southern hawker, maybe someone can tell me ?

UPDATE: My thanks to Trust Member Isobel, confirming that it is indeed a Southern Hawker.  

Monday, 1 October 2018

Sleeping Beauties

Penny and Duke are currently bonding and biding their time, along with the cygnets. 

After a good feed, a preen, then a quiet slumber the order of the day.