Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Slim Does Boo To a Goose

 Shooting season must be underway again, I noticed a Pink footed Goose on the Swans Island since Sunday. Probably shot and injured along the coast and swam it's way into the river. 

Hardly a season goes by without some poor wounded bird seeking sanctuary in the river. Time for the shooters to use a camera instead of a gun !

The Trust will endeavour to feed it and give it time to heal. Meanwhile it is coexisting happily with the Swans and Ducks. 

Slim also unable to fly right now, was intrigued by the new visitor, but let it be.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

Disco Deserted

After 3 months rehab, the injured Drake bitten by a dog, has flown back to the riverside this morning. 

The other injured Drake flew back about a week ago.

This now leaves Disco our resident female on her own, I had hoped that one would have stayed with her over the winter. Both Drakes fully recovered, moulted, and grew new plumage. The call of the wild and blustery winds,  proved too enticing to stay with Disco in the limited garden space.

They may well have mates in the river, keen to reunite perhaps. 

After Disco reared 15 ducklings, they have both been company since their successful release. 

Disco will have to content herself with my company until next years breeding season - or another Duck casualty in need of Trust care.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Swans Walking

 Swans are renowned for their grace and elegance in the water. However not quite so over land, as the short clip below shows.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Slim Gets Slimmer

Slim gave me a full view of his featherless wings the other day in full moult. By contrast one of the Cygnets showed it's full plumage almost at the same time. 

Full wingspan is about 6 feet on these beautiful birds. It will be another 3 weeks before Slim takes to the air again. Meanwhile I saw the cygnets fly about 3 feet above the surface of the river a couple of days ago. They are in tip top condition ad barely three and half months old.

 The latest broods of ducklings are also progressing well, still being looked after by their devoted Mothers, lovely to see.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Swallows Prepare

Winds swing in from the north, bringing migrating Geese in. 

Third week in September is the usual time for bird Migrations to begin. 

The same northerly winds generally take the Swallows south on their trip to Africa. 

Today I watched a family of Swallows at the Harbour, the parents still feeding their young as the temperature dropped. 

Trying to get a shot of them feeding the babies, pretty difficult for my ill equipped camera and old hands !

Saturday, 12 September 2020


As a lifetime admirer of Sir David Attenborough, I look forward to his latest documentary on BBC TV tomorrow night. No doubt we will all enjoy seeing the variety of wildlife species on offer, but be warned - it will not be the usual spectacle, but some heartbreaking scenes of suffering and extinction!
Human activity and our insatiable appetite for more of everything is driving the Planet into a freefall of self destruction. The simple truth is, we are living beyond our means and causing this global crisis.

We only have one Planet but using the natural resources of three !
Having seen the trailer of the extinction documentary, it will merely confirm what many have realised for decades and seem powerless to stop. This pandemic should in fact be used as a wake up call, and prompt a rethink of how we live our lives. The whole Planet and everything on it is a living entity, each species interacting and effecting all others. 

Human intelligence has to be re directed away from consumerism, and the pursuit of dreams of Happiness through financial wealth and the possession of "things". We can all make changes that would help the Planet. On a personal level, I got rid of my car 17 years ago when I moved from the country into the Town. This had many benefits, I walked everywhere which was good for my health, and saved a small fortune since. It also stopped polluting the Planet with poisonous exhaust emissions. The simple act of planting a tree is something we can all do. I don't possess a smartphone, let alone the latest model, but I manage.
Maybe it's just my generation that are fully aware of what has happened over the last 60 years. Wise people have realised a long time ago what human greed and activity would do. I have touched on this before by quoting Chief Seattle .

Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught, will we realise that we can not eat money.
 If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.

                                I cant recall the last time I saw a Yellowhammer, or listened to a skylark, or Curlew or  Lapwing, once common bird species in decline. How sad for future generations if we don't change our ways and stop destroying the Planet.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Nearly There

Three months old and cygnet wings nearly developed enough for flight training.  

Slim has now started moulting and will be unable to fly for a month, by then the cygnets should also be capable of flight. 

Sue has her new plumage and now the main defender of the cygnets, the only one able to fly right now.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Sue Takes The Lead

Windier weather confines Sue, Slim and the cygnets to the river. 

Cygnets are still a couple of weeks shy of being able to fly, but they are steadily growing. 

Sue is as diligent as her mother Penny was, and takes the lead in everything they do. She has now grown her new plumage and capable of flight again, as yet Slim has still not moulted, as you can see by the outstretched wings ! 

All are in excellent condition, partly due to the Trust quality feeding regime.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

All At Sea

Our Swans returned to the river the following day, eager for sustenance provided by the Trust.

Today, yet another scare by a canoe coming downstream chasing all the wildlife away from the Town water. 

The Swans also driven out to sea yet again by the curse of canoes and kayaks, depriving visitors and locals from seeing our peaceful wildlife on the town water. With the sea like a millpond, the boating enthusiasts should stick to the coastal water and leave the Town wildlife in peace.