Regular readers may have noticed criticism of bird feeding on the River Nairn in the comments of another post. Wildlife campaigner Joe has sent the Gurn a reply.
'In reply to spelding anon and co, You are preaching to the converted as far as feeding wildlife is concerned.
Interestingly enough during the 5 years i have been feeding the birds, their numbers have grown at least 10 fold..duck wise anyway.
Must be all that porridge oats and wholemeal they've been getting, along with raw sewage from the merryton bridge area !
The Swans, in addition to their natural food when available, get spinach, fresh grass, dandelion leaves, and wholemeal bread.
They seem to be thriving on it, and i have no worries about them being deprived of nutrients from me !
Maybe spelding could contact the RSPB and give them my 5 years experience for free, and add the fresh grass and dandelion leaves to their swan good food list ?
I have tried them also with potatoes, carrots and lettuce...other than the odd bit of potato skin they dont fancy it.
I do educate people as and when the opportunity arises, even though it draws some criticism and annoyance from some.
Done correctly and with skill, supplementing the wild birds food supply can increase their numbers and harmony between humans and the natural world.
The river and harbour would be a sadder place if there was little or no wildlife.
In the UK there are around 20,000 pairs of Mute swans, and 60 million people...it would suit me if those numbers were reversed!
We are fortunate to have a single pair in the river nairn and 4 cygnets, i for one will make sure they have a better diet than i have !'