In my garden I get many birds, some are very colourful, some are black or grey, some are very big and some are very small. All shapes and sizes, and all are welcome. But occasionally one arrives that is unusual in its appearance, like the one in my photo.
This poor thing has a badly misshapen bill that it is a wonder that it has survived for the two years since I first seen it. Rooks and crows dig into the ground to get at worms, larvae and insects. How this crow manages is amazing. But it is always around looking for scraps of food. Maybe that as it can’t feed the way that the rest do; it has become a garden bird. It seems to live in harmony with the rest of the crows and rooks which is good as sometime they are not tolerant of one that looks different and would normally kill them. The lower bill is much thinner and longer than it should be, and the top one is even longer and curls down and under.
However it looks healthy and should survive for many years as long as the bill has stopped growing. (Did not last much longer since I wrote this)
A while ago I wrote about a Gannet which I thought was injured at Ettrick Bay, but it was only having a rest. Well on the 3rd of June I and staff at Loch Fad Fisheries observed one diving in the loch and caught three fish on three dives, and may have caught more before or after we saw it. I have never ever seen one feeding on fresh water although I have been around Loch Fad all my life, so I made enquires and found that they have been seen on Loch Lomond , travelling overland from west to east coast using the loch as a lunch break. I was expecting the one on loch fad to bring a few hundred more of its relations for a feeding frenzy, but that did not happen. Maybe it did not like the muddy taste of fresh water fish. Most fishermen that use loch fad would I think be happy if the gannets came in great numbers and ate all the "Perch" that are in the loch as they consider them to be pests by eating their bait that they use to catch Rainbow and Brown trout. But no one would be pleased if they came and ate the trout. However at the moment it seems to have been an isolated case and has not been seen since. This appearance of the Gannet on fresh water may be a first for Bute, so I will let you know when I get word back.
. Norrie Mulholland.
First Published in the Buteman 12-07-2002.
Ps Never got word back. so the jury is still out? 12-07-2013.