Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Seeing Eye To Eye

                       In spite of adverse weather now coming in from the North, Slim and Sue are in full mating mode.

 Heavy  overnight rain, brought down debris and dirty water during a high tide. 

Our resident pair were seeing eye to eye regardless of my presence and the weather. 

Monday, 29 March 2021

Spring Tides

 Slim and Sue have been busy nest building, ready for another season.

 This week heralds Spring tides almost swamping the Swans island. In anticipation, the Trust scattered additional straw around the nest site for Slim and Sue. 

Fascinating to watch Slim as he diligently moulds the nest size for Sue and potential clutch. 

Meanwhile she gathers minerals and algae, nibbling at whatever greenery she can find. 

The tides will be pretty close to the top over the coming days, with low pressure over the north sea.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

True Togetherness

Was fortunate enough to catch Slim and Sue flying in the other day. Also a more intimate moment too. 

The sound of our heaviest bird in flight, is truly a delight.

True Togetherness!

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Ducks Killed

Yet again irresponsible dog owners are allowing their dogs to kill nesting ducks on the riverside ! In spite of the fact that there are signs asking people to keep their dogs under close control, 2 female nesting ducks have been killed since yesterday !  

The Trust spends all year caring for these birds, getting them into prime condition to nest - only to be killed when they try to do so. It is a Wildlife crime and offence to kill nesting birds !

Friday, 19 March 2021

Spring Equinox - Nesting

                    It's a year to the day since Sue and Slim arrived in the river looking for a nest site. 

Today they have ventured back up to the nest site with a view to nesting again. Having barely got rid of the last cygnet with favourable weather conditions, they are intent on repeating last years success. My feeling they would nest much earlier this year prompted me to spread some straw around the site yesterday and today. 

The Trust ensures they have sufficient raw materials around to complete their task. 

This evening they checked out the old nest site, Slim sat down to ensure the proper shape is moulded for Sue and her clutch. The ducks are also starting to nest and dispersing up river and around the town. The Trust asks everyone to PLEASE give the birds peace to nest from now until the end of nesting season. 

Keeping dogs under close control near the riverside, and we can all look forward to seeing new wildlife in the coming months.

Monday, 15 March 2021

Peace At Last

 Slim and Sue were patrolling the river with wings up this morning, no sign of the last cygnet today.

Looks like they have taken the final step to get some peace before nest building again. 

Once again they had a mating and bonding session, before having a good preen on the riverside. 

Being successful and well established, I am confident they will nest earlier than last year.

Friday, 12 March 2021

Disco Starts Nesting

The Trust disabled duck Disco has started nesting again. She has chosen a new nesting site and so far has laid 3 eggs, we should get a brood of ducklings in about 6 weeks time. 

So far she has reared 36 that have been released over the past 4 years. I knew she was egg laying, as she kicks up a fuss for me to start giving her Cuttlefish, her main source of eggshell production. See short video below.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Hotel Swan

UPDATE : SPCA and Hotel checked the pond today, and Swan seems to have manged to get out, all's well.

Reports of a Swan in the Golf View Hotel pond yesterday. I had a look today but was so far away could not tell if it was injured or what sex it was.  

                    It would not come close so I doubt if it was Briget recently released. I am concerned that it will not be able to get out
because of the terrain around the Pond, it would need a strong wind from the North and would have to clear some obstacles.  

Additionally the pond is festooned with IVY which is highly toxic if eaten. I have emailed the Scottish SPCA with Photos showing the location and IVY all around. A boat would be required to effect a rescue.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Last Cygnet

Today marks 9 months since the last cygnets were hatched, incredibly one of them is still in the river with Slim and Sue.

 Although chased off a week ago, it has returned and as yet not been chased away again.

Noticed several tail feathers missing, and wondered if it had been attacked by another swan while away. Slim and Sue are first time parents and seem reluctant to be too aggressive to it, no doubt this will happen if not resolved before nesting again. Short video of enjoyable bath by the cygnet. 

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Trust Ducks - Donnie And Disco

The beautiful early spring weather is already prompting the birds into mating mode. 

The Swans have been mating several times already, and Donnie and Disco the Resident Trust ducks have also started.

Still a little too early for nesting, but having a bit of practice does not go amiss and keeps the motors running! 

Both ducks are in great condition and I look forward to another successful brood from Disco in a couple of months. Short video below of Disco having a wash and brush up below.