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

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CARING FOR SCOTLAND'S SICK, INJURED AND ORPHANED WILDLIFE

Swifts

12th August 2013

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Today a young lesser black backed gull was rescued in Greenock. It had a hook in its throat and line dangling from its beak. The point of the hook was poking through the skin. We cut the barb from the hook, then gently eased the line and remaining hook up the neck. Job done, antibiotics given, and gull wants to get back in the wild.

On Saturday a new seal pup was delivered from Northumberland. He is heavier than the last pup, had a nasty abcess, but no other injuries. He is being hand fed sardines.

On Saturday our old badger Mr Crusty died in his sleep. Mr Crusty was rescued over two years ago, with territorial bites, no ears and worn out teeth. He was in a bad way, but people had been feeding him for years, and felt he was one of the family. He seemed to be a special badger. We gave him a retirement enclosure, and he spent most of his time wrapped in a duvet. It is sad that he has gone, but we feel he had a good twilight life.

DSC_8108_resampledStill a few nestling coming into care. There is a cheeky wee wren that it always hungry, and today a day old pigeon was brought in. More swifts ready to go now, and blackbirds, a wagtail and jackdaw.

July 29th 2013

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This weekend was busy with more than 50 new casualties brought into care. There were 4 adult hedgehogs and 7 babies. 4 of the babies were from the same litter, found cold and weak in a garden. The others came singly. Sometimes it is difficult to know what kind of accident has happened to adult hedgehogs. One has an infected wound on its back, another has an injury near its mouth, and there were a lot of fly eggs that we removed before they hatched. There was a poor old hedgehog with very bad teeth. Obviously it hadn’t been able to eat enough food.

There is a new roe deer fawn that was rescued from the canal, and a new fox cub rescued from Pollokshields. It has probably been hit by a car. Its hind legs don’t work very well, but there isn’t a fracture, just severe bruising.

Another young barn owl came today. It was found near Ballantrae, too young to be out of its nest. This is a female owl, and will be reared and released with the young male barn owl that we rescued on Saturday.

Other new patients include house martin chicks, fledgling starlings, a jackdaw,  a quail, lots more young gulls and various pigeons.

Today 6 swifts were released. They were in very good condition and keen to go. It was great to see them flying high and darting after insects.

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July 20th

When the hospital begins to fill with swallows and house martins, we think that the end of the hand rearing season is in sight. This doesn’t seem to be the case this year. We have plenty of swallows and house martins, and 5 swifts too, but nestling dunnocks and robins and still coming into care. There are lots of young blackbirds, a pied wagtail, and two very small cygnets.

We have some late mallard ducklings too. A clutch of 5 was rescued from a drain near Biggar during the week. Lucky that someone spotted them falling down. We have older mallards living outside, and 80 or so have already been released. The little tufted ducklings are growing well. They will soon be diving in their pool.

Yesterday 2 swans were rescued from the grounds of an abbatoir. You would think that if there is one place that wildlife would stay away from, it would be a slaughterhouse. But these swans had been there for a week. They had been walked out of the gate, and returned, again and again. We will relocate them to Irvine Harbour.

Today we tried to catch a cygnet from the pond at Robertson Park, Renfrew. It has netting tangled in its beak, probably hooked over the back of its tongue. Today the cygnet kept well clear of us, but we will try again tomorrow morning.