Monday, 2 March 2015

Garden Killer

The Small birds are having a tough time  in my garden lately, due to the Sparrowhawks. They have managed to kill a few at my feeder tree and have now taken to 
regular visits - 

depriving the small birds of their winter food supply. 

Sitting on the tree branches is not the best tactic and guarantees no visitors for food !

Friday, 27 February 2015

Wildlife Watch - Being Vigilant !

With spring on the way and the nesting season to follow, it's good to Know that the 145 members of the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust  will be keeping a vigilant eye on the riverside. I would ask all members to keep a watchful eye for any person acting suspiciously, particularly near the swans island. Those members who reside in Fishertown and Harbour street, and on the riverside from Water lane to the bailey bridge, are particularly valuable for keeping a close watch on our resident swans welfare.

The safety and welfare of our river wildlife is of paramount concern to the Trust,  any attempt to harm them or their nesting sites should be reported to the police immediately. Either on 101 or Nairn police station 452222.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Rock Dove Rescue

For the past 10 days I have noticed a Rock dove in the garden with what appeared to be a huge growth on it's neck or crop. I mentioned this to trust member and pigeon man Paul Thomson, and he said it may have been in collision with something and this could have ruptured the air bags within the neck causing the inflated crop.  
Today while feeding the garden birds I got the surprise of my life when the injured rock dove ventured into my front doorway. I slowly closed the door and trapped it on the window ledge.

Mindful of my recent bout of pneumonia caught from close contact with pigeons, I quickly put on a special mask I bought before wrapping the bird in a towel. I could feel no tumour growth so came to the conclusion that this was indeed trapped air from an accident.

Having had a collapsed lung myself about 13 years ago, I remembered how the doctors in Raigmore hospital re-inflated the lung by inserting  a needle into the chest cavity and drawing the air from the chest with a syringe.
Using a syringe from my wildlife medical kit I basically did the same to the rock dove - except I was deflating the crop area. After drawing 3 syringes full of air, the crop size was reduced by more than half.

The rock dove was content and seemed to realise I was helping it, now feeding and acting normally where previously it could not, 

because the air filled area was pushing it's head to the right and blocking it's sight on the left with protruding feathers.   

On release it walked out the door and immediately started eating normally...job done, it made my day !!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Male Red Breasted Merganser

With Spring approaching, the male birds plumage becomes more colourful and attractive to the females.

Looking good means taking time out for preening, as was the case for this Male red breasted Merganser.

                   I was lucky enough not to be noticed as I took the shots.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Peace at Last ?

Taking advantage of exceptional tidal conditions, it looks like Popeye and Penny have managed to expel the cygnets from the river - bar one.

Today they had Peace at last, and enjoyed a wheat meal together.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Still Here

The cygnets are testing the patience of Penny and are reluctant to leave the river for far !
This week sees the highest spring tides this year due to rare planetary line-up, this will mean exceptional high and low tidal conditions on Friday and Saturday.

Today's mild conditions meant snow melt raising the river level, which stymied the earthmover from crossing to complete repairs to the moat.

Sunday, 15 February 2015


Our other local river birds are frequently to be seen on the lower river -  such as the Goosander.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Cygnets Take The Hint

As predicted, the cygnets appear to have taken the hint and leave the river  - all but one ! 
After several weeks being hassled, 
the settled spring like weather was the catalyst for Popeye and Penny to give them the final push - The world is now their oyster !

Monday, 9 February 2015

Spring Flowers

The settled weather continues and sunshine lifts the spirits !

 The wildlife sense the coming of spring and pairing up is well under way.

The snowdrops add confirmation.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Tiring Work

Popeye takes a nap, along with one of his offspring !  

Chasing cygnets around is tiring work !

Thursday, 5 February 2015

The Chase

With settled weather and high pressure, this is the most likely time for Popeye and Penny to finally chase the cygnets away from their birthplace.

Today they ramped up the pressure by giving chase to all the cygnets in turn,

 spring is in the air and it's time for all to start a new season.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Sari Regains Some Vision

Sari the duck with apparent blindness in the left eye seems to be making a remarkable recovery. I have noticed over the past couple of weeks that the white membrane over her left eye has become more transparent. She can now see any food that lands within 6 inches or so of her left side, and able to grab it. She also has her mate close by.

Viewers might remember on a previous post that I gave her a weeks course of antibiotics to see if that would help prevent any further deterioration in her sight. I am delighted that she now appears to be making further progress !  I have also been monitoring a drake with a broken leg, he has made a full recovery - cheering news on a cold winters day !

Monday, 2 February 2015

Nairn Co-op Fund Raising

The Nairn King Street Co-op have generously allowed a fund raising session in their store. This will be in the form of collection buckets at the check out. The River Nairn Swans and waterfowl Trust supply over 3 tons of Grain and feed for our local river wildlife as well as caring for their habitat and environment we also look after their veterinary needs when required. This costs over £2500 a year as well as many hours of unpaid voluntary man hours. The Nairn Co-op shoppers have always given generously in the past, and I hope they will do so again. To become a member of the Trust costs £15 and can be done safely on-line, using the donate button on this page, any amount donations will be welcome of course !

Friday, 30 January 2015

Departure Day Looms

As we approach spring, the cygnets departure day looms large in the eyes of Penny.

Her uplifted wings permanently show annoyance, and she is getting increasingly irritated by their presence.

She needs little encouragement to give them a nip if they get within a few feet of her.

They will be 9 months old in a couple of weeks, and are in excellent condition for starting life's journey.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Giving Nature a Home

The RSPB had their big Garden bird watch this weekend, and like thousands of others I duly noted the various species in the garden. 

I have allowed the small garden that I have to become a bit of a wilderness over the past few years, to give cover and protection to the smaller birds - to a great extent it has worked.

The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust has also done much to create a home for the river birds as well, the provision of feed grain keeps the birds in good condition, and they spread all along the river and surrounding areas during the spring and summer. 

Last season we saw more ducklings around than for some time, and this brings joy to all who see them. Long may it continue !

Meanwhile our swan family are still together, in spite of the parents itching to get the youngsters to move on.