Just over a week into 2016 and we have admitted 37 casualties, of 15 species, to the wildlife hospital at Hessilhead.
A swan was the first patient to arrive on New Year’s day, and 5 more swans have been rescued since then. The cygnet that we rescued at Ardeer had the plastic pouring spout from a cardboard drink carton, firmly stuck on his lower beak. He was nervous and took some time to catch, but once the plastic was removed he swam off happily with his family.
A fox was rescued from Fairlie. He was first spotted before 7am in the morning, limping badly and hungry. He was back for food at 8pm, and was easily enticed into the kitchen of the very helpful home owners. We are treating him with antibiotics and painkiller. We were pleased to confirm that this is the same fox that we were hearing about in Largs round about Christmas. Several people had pics of him, and he has a distinctive black mark on his nose. Monty is a handsome fox, and I can honestly say that that fox was pleading for help, as he stared at us through the patio doors.
The following morning a seal pup was found on the beach at Largs. This is another young common seal, suffering from lungworm, wheezy, coughing and underweight. He was icy cold, so cold that I didn’t think he would ever warm up. He is still with us, taking fluids and on a course of treatment.
A buzzard brought in 3 days ago has begun to feed itself this evening. He is very thin and was wet when found, but looking brighter now.
Today two fishing tackle victims were brought in. A goosander was found at Barcraigs reservoir, tangled in fishing line and with a hook down its throat. We cannot remove the hook here, it is too far down, so the bird will go to the vet on Monday for an operation. Next a moorhen was brought in. This was found near Twechar, hanging from a tree by the fishing line that was tightly wrapped round its legs. We are not sure yet whether this bird will make a full recovery. There seems to be a lot of nerve damage.
On Tuesday we got three little auks, one from Erskine, one from Neilston and one from Callander. As I am sure you have heard, many of these tiny relatives of guillemots and puffins have been found in Scotland, mostly near the east coast and in eastern central Scotland. Not so many were blown this far across the country. We released the three bieds after fluid therapy and a rest, and now have another one, also found in Callander, that had lost more weight. It is eating prawns, is bright and lively, so we hope to have it back at sea in a few days.
Today our first baby of the year arrived….a week old baby pigeon. Rescued from a nest on a verandah after its sibling died. I don’t think it would have survived long in freezing temperatures.