Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Garden Killer

Once a rare sight in towns years ago, Sparrowhawks are now common throughout urban areas. 

Today one of my regular pigeon visitors was killed and devoured in my garden by a local female Sparrowhawk. It left three times as I tried to film it, eventually staying long enough to get some shots and short movie clip below.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Two's Company

Penny and Duke keeping each other company today. 

This time last year they were teaching the cygnets to fly, with flights around the town. 

Cygnet pics taken this time last year. How time flies !

Friday, 20 September 2019

Pigeon Rescue

UPDATE:   After further observation and examination, it became obvious that the pigeon does have a broken wing !

I have bandaged it into the best position that I can manage, and giving it an anti inflammatory twice a day.
Recovery will take some weeks, and there is no guarantee it will ever be able to fly...fingers crossed !  

Local Dog Warden Angie Taylor, saved a Lucky young wood pigeon this morning. Angie stopped the traffic at Tradespark when she spotted a newly fledged pigeon in the middle of the road, it was a miracle that nobody flattened it, as vehicles and lorries were driving over it. It was injured and Angie did not want to leave it by the woods edge, so brought it round to me, she previously did this a couple of years back with another pigeon. As far as I can tell, it has taken a knock on the right side, lost some tail feathers and right wing ability may be compromised.

Looks like it may have just come out of the nest for first time and possibly landed on the road.

Have given it some TLC and keeping it quiet for the time being, hopefully it will make a full recovery. Wood pigeons are one of my favourite birds, the squabs are so gentle and good natured.  

Sunday, 15 September 2019

High Flyers - Air Travel With No Pollution !

With a distinct chill in the air coming from the North west, I heard the first incoming gaggle  of Geese return to our shores. They were flying very high and I suspect heading to the west coast. 

Checking back photos last year, I found they  arrived on the 15th of September, a year to the day - cant get much more accurate than that! 

I suspect the Swallows will be heading South on the same winds too.

Air travel with no pollution, we have yet to achieve !

Meanwhile our injured duck has gotten together with her mate, both of them moulting together with their ducklings close by, how nice is that.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Fifty Five - Still Alive !

The injured duck has diligently managed to retain 8 of her brood so far.  She has steadfastly kept close to them since hatching 18 days ago. 

They are fast reaching the point of safety from Crows and Herring gulls. In a matter of days they should be able to start consuming poultry pellets and some seeds. 

The other 2 mother ducks have held onto 2 and 4 ducklings, and am hopeful they will also survive to fledging.

We also have another group of 5 that were hatched some time ago, and doing very well. If all current ducklings survive, this will make a total of 55 successfully saved and reared on the lower river this year.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Natural Beauty

Penny and Duke have almost completed the regrowth of new feathers and should be able to fly within days, they are looking good.

Meanwhile the ducklings are little sleeping beauties.

The Heron as always, is on the lookout for anything edible - be it fish or waterfowl.  

Sunday, 1 September 2019

September Spate

Relentless rain yesterday, combined with a High spring tide starts Autumn off, forcing the waterbirds downstream onto the Swans Island. 

My concern was over the recently hatched ducklings possibly being swept away. 

We did have 23, but sadly have lost 6 of these due to someone feeding and  bringing predators onto the scene.

The injured mother who hatched 10, is now down to 8, and we have a further 5 and 4 from the remaining broods. 

Conditions are now against the ducklings with colder wetter weather, but with a little luck and nurturing, most of them could still make it.

The previous broods hatched on the river, 7 now fledged, and 5 are now fairly safe, not to mention the 29 that the Trust has rescued and released, it's been a good year for the ducklings so far.
Short video below of ducklings eating crushed dried Mealworms, the best food protein for newly hatched ducklings.