For over 25 years Hessilhead has cared for Scotland's injured and orphaned wildlife, aiming to rescue, treat, rehabilitate and release birds and animals back to the wild



November 11th 2014

I was surprised to see I haven’t updated the diary since the end of October. It feels like I did it a few days ago. Must have been busy!

I’ll tell you about some of the patients that have come into care each day.

Nov 2    It was well after dark when the hospital door bell alerted us to the arrival of a new patient. A rather damp lady was standing there, with an even wetter bundle. The patient was a young gannet, wrapped in the lady’s jacket. It was a stormy day, and the young bird must have been struggling in the waves. It was a good weight, and after a few days in care, regaining its composure, it was released from Troon.

Nov 3      It was surprising to get a call from Next Home Store at braehead Shopping Centre, telling us that a sparrowhawk had crashed into their window. A shopper had picked up the bird, and staff at the store provided a box, and kept the bird in a quiet location till we arrived. The bird soon recovered and was released two days later.

Nov 4     The swan from Bishopton arrived in the evening, more red and pink than white. The blood was from a  wound on its neck, probably a dog bite. The swan had been preening, spreading the blood, so it looked far worse than it really was. After a course of antibiotics the swan moved to our wildfowl enclosure, and looks set to make a full recovery.

Nov  5     two hedgehogs among the patients today. Another autumn juvenile, needing parasite treatment, antibiotics and pampering. The adult hedgehog looked like Quasimodo, with a huge swelling at the back of its neck. tjhis is an abcess, which we drained, again and again. There is still some infection active, but less than before, and we have changed antibiotic. He eats well and is gaining weight.

Nov 6     Another autumn juvenile hedgehog and a jackdaw with a sore leg. It was probably clipped by a car.

Nov  7     A busy day today ending with the arrival of a roe deer that had been hit by a car. As is often the case, the driver of the vehicle involved didn’t stop, but a kind lady did. The doe was badly concussed, but no bones were broken. She is making good progress, much more alert now, eating everything we offer her. She should be back in the wild in a couple of days.

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Nov  8        A vet delivered a smart male kestrel that was taken to him with a fractured wing. He has pinned the wing, and bird looks bright. He will see the kestrel again in two weeks. Sam the vet also brought a Short eared owl that we had a call about in the early hours of the morning. The owl was found in a puddle at Grangemouth BP distribution centre. Sam x-rayed the owl before bringing it to Hessilhead, and the x-ray showed no fractures. Sadly the owl is still unable to stand, so there may be irreparable nerve damage. Not looking good.

Nov  9      Today we collected a swan from Drumpellier Country Park. It is a young bird that seems to have made that common mistake of thinking that a wet road is water. When this happens cygnets land very heavily, but this bird seems to have got away with skinned feet and a little bruising.

Later we collected a bird from Greenock. This was a surprise. We’d been told the bird was a starling, but found a woodcock in the cage in the garage, as the people who found it had to go out. This was probably another collision case. Fortunately it made a quick recovery and was released the following day. that saved digging up lots of worms.

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Nov  10   Two pipistrelle bats today, both found on the ground in gardens. One seems to be a cat victim, with a small tear in its wing. The other is underweight, but eating well. A barn owl was delivered this morning too. It was found on road, and had a broken leg, but was very thin and weak. We gave fluids and sent to the vet, but sadly it died there overnight.

Nov  12      perky little robin brought in today. Burst air sacs and fractured wing, but luckily the bone is well aligned.    There is never any trouble getting a robin to eat mealworms!


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