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.
Still 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.
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.
The glorious weather of the past few days has allowed us to release some birds. The blackbird aviaries have been opened, and dunnocks, robins and blue tits have ventured off on their own. We released a tawny owl at Rouken Glen Park; it had been found in a goal net, and ducks and ducklings have been released too. It doesn’t make for any less work or more space at the centre, as more than 20 new casualties arrive every day.
This evening we are off to release 7 hedgehogs. Some of these have been caught on the Uists, and sent to us for relocation. Others have been treated here and now fit and healthy. In the hospital we have 14 baby hedgehogs. Most of these have come from disturbed nests, and luckliy for us, they are just old enough to feed themselves. They are drinking esbilac, a special milk formula, and eating tinned cat food. We can see them getting bigger by the day.