Friday, 29 March 2019

Nesting Again

Nesting season has started once more.

Penny has begun nesting for the 12th year on the Island, she is now a very experienced mature Swan of at least 17 years.

Duke on the other hand is much younger, but they have bonded well. I watched as the pair of them walked up river the other day,

was hard going, but soon Penny will confine herself to around her Island home for the incubation period.

On the home front, Disco has also begun incubation today, having laid 16 eggs four of which I had to put in the incubator. These will be reunited with Disco and siblings when hatched. Looks like a busy season ahead.  

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Disco's Dozen

Our disabled duck Disco must have come from a long line of bakers, as she has 13 eggs in her nest today !
The preferential treatment goes down well, and she is in danger of laying too many to hatch them all.

Provision of adequate good food and conditions, suits her down to the ground...or should I say pond !

Friday, 22 March 2019

Mirror Mirror

Blustery start to the Spring season sees Penny and Duke getting into the mood. 

Penny very much encouraging Duke with head dipping and side preening. 

This months high spring tide always seems to trigger Penny into a broody condition, and is the precursor to mating and nesting. 

Ritual mirroring of each others movements will be a regular occurrence during the coming weeks.

On a sad note, I had to have Limpy the disabled Drake put to sleep yesterday. His quality of life was poor and he was struggling to get around. He survived nearly 2 years and was good company for Disco, I'll miss him.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Spring Equinox Happiness

As I have remarked in the past, I am truly astonished by the Natural World and keep getting reminders of how great it is. Today is the International day of Happiness, and I reflect on what gives me happiness.  Keeping life simple, rejection of consumerism, connecting, observing, appreciating and love of the Natural world - my keys to happiness !

Today is also the Spring Equinox where we have equal daylight and darkness, this changes by several minutes a day as we head towards Summer time. It is no accident that Penny has decided that it's nearly time to start nesting again and today checked out her Island nest site.

They may not have clocks or computers but the birds can tell the time with amazing accuracy.
A reminder again that this Planet was theirs long before we arrived.  

This weeks High spring tide gave me the opportunity to dislodge a heavy tree stuck at the Merryton bridge, one less obstacle to cause a problem.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Nesting Season Begins

As expected, Disco the disabled duck has started nesting. Last Tuesday I saw that she was preparing the nest, and by Thursday she had started laying. This is pretty well in line with last year to the day. 

Today she has 3 eggs and I expect she will continue to lay daily until the full clutch is complete. Being unable to access the river minerals, I have been giving her Calcium in the form of Cuttlefish shells which she loves. 

She and her new mate are getting on famously, and all the signs are that many of the river ducks have also started nesting.  I hope that any plans for litter picking on the lower riverside are completed by the end of March - to avoid disturbing the nesting birds !

Monday, 11 March 2019


Penny and Duke have been feasting and resting prior to annual nesting time. 

The last spring tide during March is usually the start of Penny's nest building season.

Meanwhile they are inseparable, looking great and enjoying the freedom of the territory. Short movie clip below showing Penny drifting off to sleep, giving me a reassuring snort of total trust, a real privilege for me. Note, the eyelids close from the bottom upwards.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Happy Days

Wild weather today, with cold gale force northerly winds and river in spate. Seemed inevitable after February's good weather, that a return to winter was certain in this part of the world.

However there are signs of spring, with new grass, shrubs and trees budding, and Disco and her new mate happily doing what comes naturally on a daily basis in the garden pond.

 Still no egg laying but am sure it wont be too long before making the nest.

Meanwhile I take Limpy her disabled friend indoors from time to time for an exclusive bath. Short clip below. 

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Disco Has New Mate

Disco the Trust's disabled resident  duck, now has a new mate for the coming season.

Her permanent friend Limpy is unable to fulfil the role as a bonded partner, due to his arthritis.

The new mate is a handsome fellow, they have been bonding and seem to have hit it off well. 

This raises hopes that she will again produce some ducklings later this season.

The new mate has copied her stance and seems to be saying - anything you can can I.