Thursday, 18 September 2014

History in the Making

Today the biggest referendum vote in Scotland's history will take place, whether to go independent or not. After 2 years of build up, many are now suffering from referendum fatigue and cant wait until Friday morning. The only certainty is that the country is split down the middle over this issue, and Scotland will never be the same again as change is inevitable. All of us will have to live with the outcome and make the most of it.
The river wildlife are oblivious to this course of events and will continue with the business of living, learning to fly and staying alive.

  We could learn a lot from Swans, they are not greedy creatures and are content when they have their share, 

unlike humans who seem programmed to always want and demand more - sometimes leading to our own destruction.

Friday, 12 September 2014

This Week

Been a good week weather wise, and long may it continue ! 

Pigeon with the broken leg made a complete recovery, and today I bade her farewell and let her rejoin the town flock. It was a pleasure caring for her since she was so gentle and not a problem. A few days ago she was standing in her water bowl on top of the book case, so I gave her a bath in the sink. She thoroughly enjoyed the soaking , especially under her wings.

The 9 ducklings rescued prior to the big Bertha flood are almost fully grown after nearly 7 weeks, ( short clip below ) and will be returned to the river in 2 weeks time when they should be on the verge of flight. 

The other 8 hatched ducklings from the abandoned nest are growing, and the last two which I had to help out of the shells are finally starting to catch up with the stronger ones.

Nairn swans are also doing well and have frequent trips to the sea, but still come back up river for their vital supplementary feeding.

The autumn evening chill seems to herald the cheery twittering of the Robin, always enjoyable to hear them sing.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

It's a Dog's Life

My companion Millie will be 15 tomorrow, I got her just before the Millennium - hence the name Millie.

She's  had a pretty good life and looks like she will be around for a wee while yet.

She is only fit for a short walk once a day now, but is the longest lived dog I've ever had.

Like most Labrador's her nature does not possess one bad trait at all....except for eating !!! 

Some images of happy days gone by.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

In Good Order

The Swans are now having flying lessons from Penny, September is training time for the Cygnets with almost daily trips to the sea, where there are no obstructions and open vista's to hone their flying skills.

They are in good order in every sense of the word !

The Ducklings at home are also in good fettle and it's nice to have them as a welcoming committee when I return from the river.
Also in good order is news that the Nairn south development appeal has been thrown out and rightly so, after fierce opposition by local resident campaigners, WELL DONE TO THEM

Monday, 1 September 2014

Independence Referendum - Strictly For The Birds !

In keeping with the non political and global status of the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust, there will be no advice offered on how to vote on September the 18th. It would be nice to think that Humanity could one day rise to the independence level of birds, where there are no borders barriers or boundaries.
Whatever the outcome, the Trust will continue to care for the birds their habitat and environment.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Back From The Brink

After another tense two days hatching, the last surviving duckling finally emerged. From the 10 viable eggs in the incubator,  8 eventually made it with two unable to break a hole in the shells.

At one point I thought there would only be 5 survivors as the others also were unable to make a hole in the shell. Having done some research, I decided to immerse the eggs in warm water for a minute or so, being careful to avoid water entering the egg. This has the effect of softening the membrane inside, allowing the ducklings to break through. 

Within a few hours 3 more managed to break out. The last one is a light coloured one similar to the sister of the mother duck.

These little beauties will have to be kept for many weeks since I was unable to catch the mother to rear them. I did try a surrogate mother by catching her sister, but she would not sit on the eggs, 

this would have reduced the time I will have to keep them before returning them safely to the river.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

New Life

A late clutch from an abandoned ducks nest is now under the care of the River Nairn Swans and Waterfowl Trust.
I was aware of this nest ever since it's beginning and had hoped that it would not be discovered since it was in a riverside garden.

However something scared the mother from the nest, to the point she did not return on the coldest night of August last week. The abandoned eggs were cold and wet and I gave little hope that any would survive since they were 3 weeks into their incubation. On candling the eggs no signs of life were detected and some were obviously dead and were discarded. 

The remainder I left in the incubator in the hope that maybe one or two might still be alive. After 3 days I candled the eggs again and was astonished to see the flicker of life in ALL the eggs, this was quite a miracle after being left cold and wet in close to freezing temperatures. At the point of writing, 4 have hatched with one doing so right now, and another 5 chapping at the shells. The will to survive in all of nature is truly amazing ! Although I know who the mother is, trying to catch her to rear these ducklings has so far been unsuccessful.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Curtains For The Pigeon

It's Curtains for the well as the fireplace and bookcase !

The pigeon with the broken leg is continuing  to improve and now able to put it's weight on it. Looks like it will be able to join it's friends in a few days time.

Meanwhile the cygnets wings are developing well and should be capable of flying lessons in a few weeks time.

The rescued ducklings are nearly 4 weeks old and enjoying life, (short video below ). 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Pigeon Patients

Having a flood last week was bad enough for August, but now the temperature has taken a dive, and feels positively Autumnal today. I am currently caring for two injured pigeons, one with a broken leg and the other with a broken wing.

The one with the broken leg is now able to use it with a limp,( Short clip below) this is better than when I found it hopping around on one leg. A course of antibiotics and anti- inflammatory medication, combined with splints seems to be doing the job.

Pardon the pun, but this is the most patient Pigeon I have ever cared for and has been very compliant when receiving treatment, ( as the photos show ). The rescued ducklings are doing fine with ample food supplies to provide warmth, their river cousins are not so lucky with last weeks flood cleaning out all the river weed.

 This years Trust grain bill is likely to be higher than last. All donations will be gratefully received!