Friday, 29 January 2021

Poorly Picks Up

The poorly cygnets health has improved steadily over the past week. I have been feeding it a costly high protein diet of Dried mealworms alongside the usual Wheat and maintenance pellets. 

Today both Slim and Sue were absent from the river and only the 2 cygnets swimming around the island. 

There was a cold brisk northerly wind blowing up river, after a small feed from me and a few calls for their Mum and Dad, both cygnets took off towards the Sea. 

Later in the afternoon all the family were together again. Looks like Sue and Slim are preparing them for departure. Being their first brood, they have not figured out how to get them to leave home yet ! 

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Love Lessons

 On a crisp and sunny winter's day, Slim and Sue had a repeat full mating session as they did a week ago. 

The two cygnets were in close attendance watching their every move, it was beautiful  and I was fortunate enough to be able to record it.

 Had just finished feeding them, when Slim started dipping his head and Sue joined in. 

Truly a taste of spring, reflecting how young Slim and Sue are, love is never far away! 

 The pics tell the story and the short movie below....minus they actually mating !  Enjoy.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Cygnet Poorly

Daily feeding and monitoring of our River birds gives a valuable insight into their health and condition.

 The sleepy cygnet in the previous posting turned out to be a little more than sleepy head. This cygnet went off it's food for several days to the point where I was ready to get it to a Vet for a check up. 

Thankfully today it has picked up and started to eat once more, albeit tentatively. A couple of days ago, Slim , Sue and the other cygnet were all flying without the sick one, this proved it was too sick and weak to fly.

Slim and Sue knew something was wrong but unable to help, so kept it at arms length, just in case !

I was on the verge of grabbing it yesterday when it mouthed some feed and started to show an interest in eating again, so I held back and gave it another day to see if it improved, so far so good ! It may have eaten some Ivy that had washed down in a previous spate. 

Sadly the pigeon in the previous post died peacefully 5 days after I took it in for treatment.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Sleepy Cygnet & Poorly Pigeon

 Was asked the other day "where do the cygnets sleep - on the nest ?" The answer is no, they sleep in the water and at any time that suits them. 

Just to confirm the point, here's some pics I took the other day, the cygnet had a good feed and happily dozed beside me, Trust in the Trust !

On a less happy note, I spotted a poorly pigeon sitting on my window cill yesterday. It was hunched up with tail down, indicating possible intestinal problems and in pain. I have taken it into the warm and will give it some previously tried and tested remedies, we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Light and Shade

 Sharp frost not noticeable on running water, so Ducks and Swans make full use of this fact.

 Bright winter sunshine cast long shadows, and the ducks are easily spooked.

 Today when I picked up my wading stick, they moved on mass to the island, quite a sight!

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Moorhen + Woodie & Wife

Hard frosty weather creates a lot of bird activity with frantic feeding  to ward off the cold. My garden is host to 4 resident Blackbirds, 2 wagtails, a Wren, Robin, and hoards of sparrows and pigeons. Mixed wild bird seeds, Mealworm, Peanuts, and bread crumbs with plenty of fresh water available. 

On the riverside the water birds are like Piranhas in Frosty weather, insatiable at feeding time.
We also have a Moorhen that regularly feeds around the Swans Island, picking up the hidden grain seeds the ducks cant reach.


Not forgetting my Pal Woodie who now brings his wife for the daily feed.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Cygnet Fledged

For the past 5 days, Slim and Sue have taken the cygnets along the coast for daily excursions. Yesterday they returned minus one cygnet. Looks like one has decided to stay away after 7 months upbringing on the river. I think it's most likely the young male. 

Other than the Trust daily feed, there's not a lot else to keep the youngsters here. I suspect it wont be too long before the others go as well . Thanks to Avril for the nice family group pic.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Good Cheer New Year !

Good News for some amid the viral gloom. Briget appears to have found a least for now. 

Our Man Duncan has been feeding her daily at Loch Flemington which is frozen for the most part.

A few days ago when he was feeding her , another Swan worked it's way over the ice to join in. From the looks of it, might be another single male. I was hoping this might happen, how fortuitous if this is the case!

Meanwhile on the river, Slim and Sue have been taking the cygnets for daily excursions along the coast, perhaps preparing them for eventual separation. 

Colder weather means ravenous birds and the Trust ensures they are fed. 

Cygnets are getting whiter, but still softly whistle like tiny newly hatched.

Short video below after feeding.

Friday, 1 January 2021

Briget on Ice - New Years Day

 New Years Day !  Those wondering what happened to Briget after the Scottish SPCA Wrongly put her in Loch Flemington - some good news ! 

With the recent hard frost I asked Duncan, one of our local Trust members to keep an eye on her and feed her when he could. As I feared, the Loch has Ice all around the sides which is of course where the weed food supply is for Swans. 

Precisely why I wanted the SPCA to take her to Fishcross for care, until her new feathers had regrown in order for her ability  to fly. 

This takes about 5 weeks, and she still has about another week to go. Fortunately Duncan spotted her close enough to the side to throw her some food on several occasions. At one point she appeared trapped in the ice but was able to break her way out. Now she knows him, she breaks her way back to the side as she did today - you can see the trail in the top photos.  

Duncan will continue to visit her until she is able to fly again. Our Thanks to Duncan for his assistance and sharing the photos he emailed the Trust.