To anyone who’s ever given a donation, attended an event, bought some charity cards or supported the trust in any way at all – this week has seen the culmination of all that effort and concern with two successful releases of rescued animals back into the wild.
Over the summer months two sets of fluffy chicks – six downy cygnets and three little ducklings – had grown into feisty young adults, and the recent mild October days meant that both groups could be released so that they would have time to adapt to their natural habitats before winter sets in.
The three mallards and one eider duck went off together to Hunting Hall Farm’s secluded pond, where another group of six ducklings had been released a few weeks earlier.
The swans were each caught and strapped into cotton ‘straightjackets’ so that they didn’t injure themselves, then placed in sturdy bags in the boot of the car for the journey to West Ord where they were to be released on the banks of the Tweed. Lingering for a few minutes, I could see the cygnets stretching and flapping their wings, and actually rising a few feet before settling back onto the water; this was the first time they’d had the space to practise flight – what an amazing adventure they could now look forward to.
You can see two short videos of the releases online; go to the You Tube website and type ‘Three mallards and an eider’ in the search box for the ducks video, and for the swans video type ‘Cygnets go free’.