WE have been attending training sessions with Pat and Kay each Wednesday at the shed. They are trying to standardise all the working practices we use with the wildlife so that each new volunteer can have a proper ‘instruction manual’ to refer to.
This will take some time yet to complete as each bird or animal may have differing requirements - also complicated by the fact that each volunteer seems to do things a slightly different way. We are working our way through the process in a very orderly fashion and it is slowly coming together.
We were working on our own at the shed on Friday morning (as Peter was off) when a kestrel was brought in from Holy Island. Fortunately we have done this part of the training and knew how to book in the bird and what details to take. We prepared a cage and checked out the bird. It did not seem to have any broken bones but had got a graze on its head. Graham identified it as a female (I was very impressed by this) and it was quite thin. Its tail was a bit tatty so it may have been on the ground for a while. We did not feed the bird in case it needed to be anaesthetised.
The couple who brought in the bird were interested in the work we were doing so we gave then a quick tour of the premises. After they had left we felt very pleased that we had known exactly what to do.
When Kay came in she checked over the bird which by then was obviously feeling better for being out of the cold and was jumping around the cage. She got a couple of small mice out of the freezer which only take a few minutes to thaw so that the bird could have a snack. Meanwhile Mrs Kestrel showed her impatience by tearing up the nice clean newspaper covering the bottom of the cage and threw the bits through the bars onto the floor which Kay had just swept up. Some birds show no appreciation for what is being done to help them at all. Kay thinks the bird will only need a couple of days rest and then can be returned to its Island home.
Whilst we were outside checking the swans some kind anonymous donor had brought in some cat food which they left on the table, many thanks to this kind person and to all the others who are helping with our huge family of hedgehogs. More of the hogs have been named now, we have Orinoco, Tony, Hugo and one that we call Badger as he has a stripe down his nose. There is normally someone at the shed 9.30-11.30 each morning so do call in.
Outside our big bully Cob is still in a pen of his own as the river is still running too strongly to release him. The others although they will need time to build themselves up are going on ok. One bird brought in from by the pier is still quite poorly but is having antibiotics daily and is still with us. I think this bird is enjoying the peace and quiet. It must have been hard on the estuary birds when the river was so high and running so fast. The debris brought down river must have hit some of the swans and caused bruises.
JACKIE AND GRAEME