Angel Wing

Have you heard of “Angel Wing” ? Maybe not, but have you ever seen a duck goose or swan with a grossly deformed wing.I had always assumed birds like this had been attacked and injured, and in many ways they have. But not by another wild animal. Angel Wing is a malformation that causes one of the wing joints to grow twisted outwards instead of lying flat against the birds back. It is caused by poor diet, namely a diet too high in carbohydrates, ie Bread, the bread that we love to feed to the ducks. So I guess it’s a bird equivalent to rickets. Ducks and swans are susceptible though geese are the worst affected and as you’d expect, it’s most common in parks and accessible beauty spots where families tend to go to “feed the ducks.”It’s a tough one to combat because it’s hard to resist feeding the ‘ducks’ when they appeal so much. I’m not entirely sure but I think these geese might have a mild  case but I’m not an expert. CRT suggest you use porridge oats or veg like peas and sweet corn or buy a floating wildfowl food which is what I keep on the boat.These swans certainly enjoy it. Although they still like to search the bottom for the real treats.

There isn’t a cure for Angel Wing. It prevents the birds from flying which makes them more vulnerable to preditors or bad weather. So please, take heed of the notices not to feed bread to the ducks, this is what it does to them.

 

 

A welcome few unexciting days

A few days cruising, just us, Firecrest and nature. We were looking forward to a less exciting few days before we got back into Lincoln. We’ve had such a super time recently, we need a few days just to slow down and enjoy nature again. Leaving Dogsdyke, we cruised upstream along the River Witham taking in the peace and tranquillity. Sadly the beauty of the River was scarred by rather more than usual dead fish floating along the banks. A few questions to locals revealed that there had been a chemical spillage in the spring and 100 000 fish died. The river has been restocked but we dread to think how long it will take the whole ecosystem to recover. We’re not sure if the amount of duck weed is as a consequence of the chemical, but it was an un-nerving experience travelling through it.We wondered how it would affect the fish but were reassured when we saw this sole floating  by.And what with the willow trees and hidden entrances to the Drains, on it did brighten what could have been a tedious journey.