Time to focus on spring nestlings

Now that the overwintering hedgehogs are being released in their droves (well, gradually and carefully either back where they were found or into hog-friendly gardens), the focus is now on the nestlings and fledglings, for whom the introduction to the world hasn't gone quite according to plan.

Saturday, 19th May 2018, 2:14 pm
This Owlet was brought in by a volunteer.

We already have the tiniest of ducklings in, all on his own, except for the other duckling he can see in his mirror.

Because they naturally hatch among lots of siblings, they need a bit of company, so a little toy and a mirror in their box is the best we can do, unless another displaced duckling of a similar age happens to come in.

Nevertheless, this little duckling was making the best of it by dabbling at his water bowl with the pebbles in, sampling the chick feed and busily preening his down.

Another fluffy youngster just recently admitted was an owlet, looking very sorry for himself (as you can see in the photograph), but according to his record card, he was enjoying the meals of mice that were being offered to him.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He had been brought in from Press Castle, near Coldingham, by our volunteer Jim, whose neighbour had found him in his garden.

He had left the owlet alone, as you’re supposed to do just in case the parents were close by and feeding him, but after a time it became apparent that the poor little guy had fallen out of the nest somehow and would die if no one intervened.

Pat and Kay were trying to identify exactly what type of owl he is, and they think by the shape of the markings on his face that he may be a long-eared owl, something of a rarity in this area.

His irises need to be orange and at the moment they’re a juvenile black, but Pat and Kay were going to invite a local bird expert in for a definitive identification.

Concerned residents of St Abb’s had brought in a beautiful young herring gull with one strangely puffed up foot.

He’d spent the winter around the harbour area, becoming a firm favourite with the locals.

It’s great to know that for most people living in seaside towns and villages, gulls are a valued part of the natural environment, integral to the coastal scene.

As the summer months progress, the Rollo Centre will probably become home to many juvenile herring gulls who have fallen from rooftop nests, whose parents have perhaps been killed, or who have sustained an injury where a chance to rest and recover is all they need.

Don’t forget that on Saturday, May 26, there’s a chance for everyone to meet our rescued animals and find out more about the work we do at the trust’s open day.

Our open day will run from 10.30am to 2.30pm, and all are welcome.

The day will be made extra special with the official unveiling of the spacious new indoor aviary, which will give recuperating birds more space to practice their flying skills in a sheltered environment.