Saturday, 26 June 2021

This Weeks Tally

Been a week of mixed fortunes, but the river wildlife is currently on the positive side. 

Swans and cygnets are growing rapidly, starting to take on the appearance of small swans. 

The ducks are having a tougher time being smaller and vulnerable to predators. Some duck mothers are more experienced and better than others at caring for their ducklings. The two currently most successful, have been round the block before. 

One of them has 6 survivors, and the other has 9 out of 10 just 5 days old. 

Was informed today about another successful mother of 9 at the Dunbar golf course, long may it continue. I am fully expecting more to hatch because of the late spring this year, could be hatching well into July !  

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Dangerous Times

Moulting times have arrived for many of the Mallard Drakes, with warm temperatures and sunny weather. Most drakes will now have started this process as the testosterone levels drop and mating season almost over. However there are still some Drakes highly active, and will pounce on any available female duck. 

This was the case a few days ago when I rescued a female, badly injured on head and neck. Sadly she died during the night. 

Failing the availability of a female, a Drake who is moulting and unable to escape will do! 

Today I found a badly attacked Drake with severe damage to his head and back due to amorous drakes. Hope I got him in time as he was pretty weak, and flies were starting to land on him.

 On returning home, I checked for fly eggs on the open wounds, before giving him some anti inflammatory and anti bacterial treatment. Will give him peace and quiet, the rest is now up to him.  

UPDATE: Sadly, Drake did not survive but at least died peacefully.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Ducklings Successful Release

After 8 weeks in the safe care of the Trust, it was time to release Disco's 15 ducklings, plus 2 fostered ones. 

With the help of the Chairman and Secretary, we corralled and transported them down to the riverside. Their chances of survival are as good as we could make them, ability to fly is already at hand for some.

 The weather and river conditions are ideal, allowing them to make the adjustment from a wild garden, to the wide world in the coming days.

 Short video below.


Saturday, 12 June 2021

Swans Greetings Card

Our intrepid new Trust Secretary, has designed an eco friendly fully compostable Swans greetings card. These can be purchased now from The Nairn Bookshop who will kindly take no commission to benefit the local river bird life. 

The Trust is very grateful to the Artist Isla Mae Jacobs, and  The Nairn Bookshop. Artistic and carbon neutral cards, good for the environment and the Swans too !   

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Preening With Mum

Lovely summer weather, ideal for a dip and a preen with Mum. 

At three and half weeks, cygnets are the size of Mallard ducks.  

Short video of preening session below. 

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Full Pool

Cygnets are growing fast and no longer hitching a ride on Sue's back. They are safe from the Crows and almost as big as a Mallard now. Slim and Sue are now traversing the lower river with confident cygnets beside them. 

Meanwhile Disco and her 17 ducklings are taking up the entire garden pond and making a fair old mess of the place. 

She is still the concerned mother at all times, and gets quite anxious when any show signs of stress, like trying to get out of a half empty pond as can be seen here. I am planning their fully fledged release to the river next week sometime, as they should be on the verge of Flight. Short video below showing ducklings excitement at pond being refreshed.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Sunset Cygnets

Blessed with a sunny spell of weather, all the waterbirds are chilling out and thriving.

 Sue has finally stopped carrying the cygnets on her back. 

However, there's always one that hangs in there, and just cant stop loving his Mum !  

Sunsets have provided some nice photo opportunities and a  privileged chance to get very close to some sunset cygnets, courtesy of Slim and Sue.

 Short video below. Enjoy !