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



October 11th 2013

Apologies for the long silence. This is mainly due to our house having been knocked to bits and rebuilt in the past few weeks. Hopefully the damp problem is solved, and soon we will have everything back in its place.

There is a big change at the centre, with almost all of the youngsters released now, and many empty enclosures. The recent good weather has given us a quieter spell than we usually have at this time of year, though of course casualties arrive every day. There have been some unusual patients too. yesterday a jack snipe came from vets in Glasgow. it has a sore eye, and had probably been in collision. This evening we released it in our water meadow. At first we were worried, as it didn’t take off, but lay down, thinking it was hiding. After a while it decided to go, flew around a tree and behind us, then over the water meadow before dropping suddenly into the vegetation, out of sight. Typical jack snipe behaviour? ¬†Another unsusual visitor today was a goldcrest. This tiny bird had collided with a window, but later in the morning it was restless and ready to go.

We have a barn owl that has made a good recovery, but a tawny owl has failed to respond to treatment for a mouth infection. It has an appointment with the vet on Monday. Cygnets are beginning to arrive regularly, mostly birds that have crash landed or had a collision. Sadly one of them had to be put to sleep, and another was dead on arrival. A meadow pipit recovered from a road traffic accident, and a pheasant has also recovered after being picked up at the roadside. A kestrel was released yesterday, and a buzzard released last week.

The eagle owl, rescued from a Bridge of Weir garden, has settled into an aviary. We have one house martin left. His flight feathers are not good enough to get him to Africa. He has learnt to pick up food for himself, and if he copes with cage life, we’ll give him a chance to overwinter and grow new feathers. It would be good to see him going in spring.

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