All go ahead of this weekend’s open day

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GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

This week I shall have difficulty knowing what to leave out of the column there has been so much happening.

Firstly, please don’t forget it is our open day and AGM on Sunday, July 31 at our premises on Windmill Road East, Ramparts Business Park. We have a tombola, bric-a-brac, prize draw and refreshments.

The wildlife in our care that is well enough can be viewed and you will be able to see how things are progressing on the site. There is always a new project in the pipeline. The proceedings will be opened at 11.30am and continue until 2.30pm. Why not stay for a soup and sandwich lunch? At 3pm we shall begin the AGM and after the business end of the meeting there will be refreshments and a film show. Please come in and see us, everyone is welcome.

I have been going down to help at the shed a bit more than usual as all the birds we have in at the moment are taking a lot of time to care for and there is a need for an evening rota of volunteers as well as the usual morning one. I must admit some of the work is messy and smelly, but the rewards are worth it and we usually have a bit of a laugh, like when the end came off the hose and Kay was going to enter a wet t-shirt competition or when I was trying to carry three trays of bread and fish scraps in water when I slipped on cygnet poo and nearly landed head first in the trays. Actually that would not have been funny.

One of the nicest things down at HQ at the moment is the tiny hedgehog David is personally looking after. He has named it Womble and it does look like a wombly thing. We are teasing David something awful about this little hog being his ‘baby’. It was so tiny when it arrived that it was only taking milk, but it is now on puppy food and when David calls it will get out of its little fluffy bed and come to the front of the cage. It is gaining weight nicely now and I think it is something like three times the weight it was when it came in.

We now have three buzzards in. I am hoping we shall be releasing one today. This one had a break in its wing but it is fully recovered now and is flying well in the aviary. Another had a knock to its eye and has lost the sight in that eye, but after having drops in twice daily its eye is slowly improving and it has been moved to the aviary so we can monitor just how well he can see. The third bird arrived looking as though it would die within a few hours. It was flat out and very sick indeed. David thought the bird might have an intestinal infection of some kind so after a course of antibiotics it is now upright and wanting out of its confining cage. It will be moved to the aviary as soon as the first bird is released. They look so impressive when they fly and it is lovely to see them make such a speedy recovery.

We now have only two ducklings left as all the rest have been released. Five cygnets are doing very well but we do have one quite poorly swan which was shot in the head, another with feather problems and a third with a limp.

This week the picture is of a painting by Gillian from Animals on Canvas. She very kindly donated this painting which is of one of the swans that was in with us for treatment last year. It will join the photograph Barrie spoke of last week in a special draw. The pictures will be on show at the open day, so please do come along and see us.

PAT GOFF

Should you find an animal in need of our services, or if you need advice please phone HQ on (01289) 302882. We are happy to help. You can also e-mail via our website www.swan-trust.org.