Ducklings looking for some warmth

Despite the sudden cold North winds and the icy chill in the air spring is with us at the David Rollo Centre, and we have not even released all the hedgehogs yet.

Monday, 2nd May 2016, 10:30 am
It's too cold to put these three Mallard ducklings outside.

This week we took in the first orphan Mallard Ducklings, two one day and another sibling the next day – all taken by a cat.

It is too cold to put them outside yet as they haven’t got a cosy duvet of a mum to warm up under, but they are using the heat pad and fleece, which is being used as a substitute at the moment.

We have an aviary with a little hut where we can still give them a heat pad but we will keep them indoors for the rest of this week as it is forecast to be very cold.

They are eating and growing and making an awful mess even though they only have very shallow pool of water with little stones in to prevent them getting too wet.

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They just love to paddle.

We also have a blackbird fledgling with us.

The poor thing was caught by a cat and then chased round the garden by a dog so it was in double trouble.

I have to carry it around with me in a cage at the moment so I can keep putting food into an ever open beak.

It is well feathered but has very little tail as yet.

It is able to flutter a little way but that’s all. Once it starts to peck for itself it will be able to go in an aviary to get to know the big wide world.

Early last week we started to pack up the hedgehogs that had been hardened off and send them either to new homes or back to where they were found.

Hedgehogs are easy to release as they do not imprint at all.

We can rear a baby from just a few days old and it will not care for us or need us when it is grown. They just go off and do their own thing.

We have so far released about half the hogs we had.

We now have only three in the recovery room, all the rest are in the cool or outside waiting for this really cold weather to go before they can go too.

The swan that we fetched in after being found in a culvert has been released.

We think another pair of swans had taken over the territory after her mate had either died (or been killed by the incoming pair) and she had hidden herself in the culvert.

She was very traumatised we think as she was very wobbly and unbalanced but nothing could be found physically wrong with her.

She would fall forwards when walking and if we handled her she would not be able to stand for a while.

We put her with the swan that was attacked by dogs in Berwick whilst we checked on his broken toe and swollen foot.

They got on very well and she improved quickly in his company.

We released them together after the vet gave them a final check over.

We do have a second string to our bow here as a wildlife dating agency.