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



February 16th 2015

An update before I go on holiday tomorrow.

Otters ¬†All the cubs are outside now, Ray and Squeaky sharing one enclosure, and the twins another. They have shallow paddling pools in the form of dog beds filled with water, and they have lots of fun at night. We’ve had trail cameras running, and have enjoyed seeing the cubs antics, racing around together, juggling with toys and splashing. The cubs spend all day snuggled up together in a pile of fleece bedding. They eat lots of food now, seem to need more each day. All that activity gives them an appetite

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The latest seal arivals are a common seal pup that came from Gourock, and a rather large grey pup from Northumberland. The common seal was underweight, and had a massive dose of tapeworms. She feeds herself, lives outdoors now and should put weight on quickly. Rory, the grey seal, has a nasty gash on his back and some minor injuries too. He is still being hand fed, which is a struggle, but hopefully when his wounds heal he will feel more like helping himself.

The good weather of the past week or so allowed us to release 7 buzzards that had been brought to us in poor condition during the bad weather. It was really good to see them go. Strangely, whenever we release buzzards a flock of local corvids arive, usually crows and magpies, and shout abuse at the new arrival. The corvids disperse after a while, and hte buzzards sem not to mind the hassle.

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There are not many weeks in the year when are without young pigeons. Thesae youngsters were rescued from a building before repairs patched up holes in the roof.

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Swans come and go as frequently as pigeons. Recently we’ve taken care of several cygnets that had been chased away by their parents, and got into trouble. It must be very confusing for these juveniles, though when released with a flock of swans, they swim off looking quite content. Last week we rescued a swan that had a neck injury. there was just a trickle of blood at first, but by the time she was back at Hessilhead, the trickle was a torrent. We applied pressure and wrapped round bandages, but the bleeding didn’t stop till the swan, the cage and part of the hospital was covered in blood stains. The swan was quite unperturbed by this drama, and was dabbling in her food before long. She is out of the hospital now, had a good bath, cleaned her feathers and looks fine. There was a rumour that she may have been shot, or the wound could have been a bite. We can’t tell without an x-ray, and that would be hassle for the swan. We are just pleased she looks so good.

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This sparrowhawk came in a few days ago, unable to stand or hold up its head. Well on the road to recovery now, she’ll be back in the wild before I return from holiday.

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