Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Pigeon Virus Video

Brought home another Pigeon suffering from the Paramyxovirus today. Short video below showing some of the effects on the birds coordination.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Pigeon Virus

Yet again I have been unable to save another beautiful Pigeon from the Paramyxovirus which is affecting the feral pigeons of the town. 

This was pigeon number 4 that has succumbed to this nasty killer. The Neurological effects mean that the Pigeons lose coordination and are unable to pick up food by missing it with their beaks.
Other symptoms include, increased water intake combined with reduced feed consumption, emaciation,
paralysis of the legs, timidity, torsion of the neck, twisting movements of the body, overturning and walking backwards.  It's a truly horrible virus and most pigeons die. 

One survivor who is currently only managing to eat because I have placed a tub at my door where it is able to pick up seeds, even though missing what it's aiming for !  It remains to be seen if it can last a month where it might develop a resistance to the virus.

Meanwhile some of the affected flock are ganging up at my door !

Saturday, 19 April 2014


The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust would like to thank the CUSTOMERS and STAFF of the CO-OP King street Store Nairn, for their very generous £160-44 fund raising effort. It is greatly Appreciated by the Trust, and will be used exclusively for the welfare of the River Birds, THANK YOU !

Monday, 14 April 2014

Mandarin Duck - Part 2

Fellow Trust Member and keen Bird man George Berryman has kindly sent in some stunning shots of the Mandarin Duck in Forres.

These beautiful birds might well be nesting in the area, and what a boost to the exotic species if they produce ducklings !  

Thursday, 10 April 2014

On Guard

Penny our resident mother Swan, has now settled down to incubate her clutch. So far this years weather has been kind to the birds, and things look promising for another good year on the river.

Popeye her mate is now on full time guard duty, and looks in excellent condition for the job. This guy is a rib breaker, I can vouch for that !!  It's good to know we now have 120 River Trust members also keeping an eye out for their welfare.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Mild Winter = More Disease

After the mildest winter I can ever recall, there appears to be a downside as far as feral pigeons are concerned.
As most gardeners know hard winter frosts can have a beneficial effect by killing off some bugs and diseases. It seems the same goes for certain bird disease such as pigeon pox, again this viral disease only affects pigeons. I have noticed our flock of feral pigeons are currently suffering from several pigeon viruses, some of which have no cure. Perhaps the recent loss of roosting sites, combined with the mild winter have helped spread the infections. Sick birds are often slow and reluctant to fly, making them easy prey for Sparrowhawks and cats. I am currently looking after a third sick pigeon although it's chances are poor, it has a 30% chance of survival.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Nesting Season - Dogs

The nesting season is now well underway for many bird species, the ducks are now moving to their nesting sites leaving mainly single drakes on the lower reaches. The Swans too have started nesting for the 7th year on the river.
The River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust would like to remind all dog owners to keep their dogs under close control especially during the breeding season April - July. Ground nesting birds like ducks and swans are particularly vulnerable, and the onus is on the dog owner to prevent their dogs from killing and injuring wildlife.
The enclosed Images were caused by dogs not under control !

Please conform to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code on dogs and dog walking

Thursday, 27 March 2014

CO-OP Fund Raising Day

The King Street Co-op are holding a Dress up fund raising day for the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust on Tuesday April 1st. 

This is in keeping with their policy of helping local good causes. The Trust is extremely grateful for this one day event, giving local shoppers a chance to contribute to the upkeep and welfare of our local river wildlife at the checkout.

Most of the Town knows that last years Cygnets have just left the river a few weeks ago, and gave us many pleasurable scenes over the year.

The Trust looks out for their well being throughout the year, along with the Mallard ducks. 

These are a tourist asset to the Town and appreciated by visitors and locals alike. Our Resident Swans Popeye and Penny are now nest building again, and likely to provide us with another brood in a couple of months time.

New trust members would also be most welcome, Please give generously !    

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Mandarin Ducks

My Thanks to Trust member and Bird Man Paul Thomson, for sending in these beautiful shots of a pair of Exotic Mandarin Ducks. 

Paul took the shots at Sanquhar pond in Forres, and what Bonnie birds they are!
I think there was a pair up around Kilravock a few years back, hopefully this pair will produce ducklings this season.

Monday, 24 March 2014

More River Litter

Today I fished another 3 items of litter from the river at Merryton Bridge, One of them was an empty money box, apparently belonging to the Badminton club ?   The nearest bin was the large grey one about 50 yards down stream from the bridge. So if anyone would like to recover the items they are in the bin

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Love Birds

This time of year is wonderful to observe nature at it's best. Popeye and Penny are fully engaged in the mating season, along with many other Love Birds !

The pigeons kissing, gives true meaning to a "peck on the cheek" !

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Love and Endearment

Human words like love and endearment are unknown to the animal world, they don't use or need them - their actions show that they genuinely live them.

Sequence of Popeye and Pennys actions today !

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Popeye Hinting

Spring is in the air, and Popeye has been dropping large hints that Mating season is due !

He has taken to sitting on top of the island, which is the biggest hint he can make to get Penny in the mood.
It seems to have paid off today !

This is a once in a year time for them, and no doubt very much looked forward to ! They have been attentive and exceptional parents since last May - time now for the joys of spring !

Saturday, 15 March 2014


Redshanks wait on the tide going out down by the harbour, accompanied by some Turnstones.

They blend in very well with the background.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Penny Chills

With only a few weeks to go before the clocks go forward and nesting gets fully under way, Penny is having some Chilling out time, with her mate Popeye close by.