Monday, 31 December 2018


Have just completed the Trust accounts for 2018.
Total outgoings were £4139 - 29.     Total Income was £ 3828 - 50.  This means the Trust has slipped back into the Red to the tune of £310 - 79.

Several obvious reasons for this, we had 7 cygnets this year, so the feed bill is greater. In addition the Parkdean Caravan site made no contributions to the Trust at all this season. The reason is that the Arcade manager no longer works there, and he was the collector for the Trust. 

The Calendars sold well, but perhaps a little below what I should have asked for, and I should have printed more. Some members have yet to pay their annual subscription.
In order to avoid the Trust going into overdraft, I will meet the deficit from my own pocket this year.
If nothing else, the river birds will have a good new year ! 

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Waiting Game

Mid Winter point is past and now our resident Swans conserve energy, playing a waiting game.

Some of the cygnets are getting restless, and I expect Penny and Duke to see them off as spring approaches.

Sunday, 23 December 2018


The Trust wishes all our members and viewers a very Happy Christmas !

Christmas day, and they await the feast !

Special Thanks to our members and donors, here and abroad for your continued support. 

Every Penny donated goes to the care and welfare of the River birds. I'm certain if they could speak they would say THANK YOU.
Photos show them enjoying a Christmas time feast .

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Highlights Of The Year

With the shortest day and Christmas just days away, I thought it would be nice to show some of the Highlights of this year. 

We all waited with bated breath to see if Duke would mate with Penny, and if they would have any cygnets this year - after previous years failure. 

Duke was much more active this year and his health and appetite were good, I gave him special attention last winter and this seems to have helped his conditioning. 

Penny started nest building a little later than usual, but still managed to lay 8 eggs even though she is now about 17 years old. 

Once again I got the hatching date spot on, estimated at the 16th May. I felt it was going to be a success when Duke started sitting up beside Penny some days before hatching - he could hear the cygnets calling from inside the eggs ! 

Sure enough on a pleasant 16th May, the first cygnets started to appear, I was ecstatic ! 
Within 24 hours it was apparent that Penny had successfully hatched a full brood of 7 cygnets.

Duke had done the business this year and took a full part in escorting the balls of fluff to the water and back to the nest later. 
He did cause a few anxious times when the cygnets could not exit the water -  he could, but the bank was too steep for the wee ones. At one point I had to get into the Moat and chase them to the end of the island, where it was shallow enough for the wee ones to get out of the water !

Duke was not pleased and had a go at me, not understanding the predicament his offspring were in.

At only a few days old, cold water can kill the cygnets if exposed for too long to cold temperatures. 

Only one egg out of the clutch of 8 was not fertilised, so Penny had her full family to look after once again. She has laid 80 eggs during the last eleven years and raised 70 cygnets to fledging - what a magnificent Swan !
Short clip below in the early days.


Not forgetting the ducks, Disco the disabled duck had 6 ducklings at home. These were put into the river at 9 weeks old.

There were also 35  surviving ducklings hatched on the lower reaches of the River.

All in all, it has been a very good year, and the good weather was an added bonus !  Enjoy !

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

A Nearly White Christmas

Our Cygnets are still on home turf, and Penny most likely to keep them here until the lighter days start showing.

They are whitening slowly but surely and very well behaved. 

One in particular takes after Penny and displays the same gentle demeanour, which is obvious to me. They are a delight.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Lame Duck

No, I'm not referring to Theresa Mays Brexit deal, but Limpy my real lame duck. He is 18 months old now and starting to suffer some wear and tear on his one good leg. The effort of hopping around on one leg has taken it's toll, and now developing a callus on the elbow of his deformed left leg. 

Currently on medication to improve his lot, but remains to be seen how long he can comfortably survive. He happily spends a couple of hours a day with me in the house when given his medication,  food and drink, before going back into the aviary to Disco his mate. 

Not the same as a dog, but he loves getting his neck and face scratched since he cant do it himself !

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Sleepy Heads

With the shortest days upon us, and long cold dark nights - what else is there to do but yawn and sleep! 

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Salmon Fate Sealed

High tide and High Drama today as I watched a Seal catch a Salmon.

This Seal is a regular visitor to the river with each high tide, I think he knows the river like the back of his flippers.

                           It made short work of the Salmon and enjoyed playing with his food ! 

The Salmons fate was truly Sealed !
Sequence of shots tells the story.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Trust The Trust

This month marks the 6th year since the founding of The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust. During this time the Trust has acquired 182 members, many from the Town and throughout the Country, even some from abroad. While many take our river water birds for granted, the Trust has diligently fostered their welfare and wellbeing every single day. Over £18,000 has been raised and spent on their care during this time. Sadly, no financial help has ever been offered by the local River Community Council or Highland Council towards the birds, or Trusts endeavours. 

The Trust has put Nairn wildlife on the Map as a local tourist attraction.

Annual Membership costs £20 for a family and can be assured that every penny goes to the welfare of the birds. All trustees are voluntary unpaid positions. Trust constitution extract below.

The purpose /objects: of the Trust shall be the Advancement, of welfare, health and protection of the River Nairn Swans, waterfowl and waterbirds within the Tidal reaches of the River Nairn. This includes their nesting Island site, associated riverbanks, environment and habitat, for the good of the community and future generations in perpetuity. The trust shall be non political.

Trust The Trust.