Mallard ducklings making the most of home comforts

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Our two little mallard ducklings are growing very well. We are hardening them off so that they can live outside in one of the aviaries.

Without mum they need to be able to keep themselves warm during the night.

Our aviaries all have little huts attached so they can find shelter if they need it.

We shall also introduce them to paddling water. They will have to stay with us for some time yet so we might as well make them comfortable.

Sadly one of our cygnets died this week. It came in several months ago from Herrington Country Park.

The family had been attacked by a dog and although the cygnets all scattered this one got left behind and was trodden on by the dog.

It was left very weak and was taken to a local vet for a check up. Nothing was broken but it was badly bruised.

It was brought up to us for some T.L.C. It picked itself up very quickly and joined the other cygnets.

As it grew we noticed it had a ‘kink’ in its neck. It swam with its neck held much further back than the others and this got much more pronounced as it grew larger but it was still able to eat and get its neck down in the water.

It went back to the vet last week and had another x-ray as we noticed it had suddenly become very lethargic.

The verdict was that although there were no breaks the bones in the neck were fusing and this may cause problems.

On Saturday morning it was found dead on the pond. It seemed as though it had just died in its sleep.

Another swan has been brought up from the Newcastle area a couple of weeks ago with a nasty head wound.

It needs cleaning and has ointment applied every day. There has been a big improvement this last week although the wound is still being treated.

The photograph shows the bird’s head. We are hopeful that it will eventually heal in the same way as the hedgehogs.

We also have a house martin and a swallow both young birds not able to fly yet. It is going to be a race against time to get them away before the birds migrate.

Both are well feathered and not far off so we will have to keep our fingers crossed.

Another bird we don’t often see was also brought in this week. It is a Golden Plover which flew into a window. It was concussed and had an eye injury which we treated.

The following day it was unable to open the other eye so was blind.

Today the eye was open but we are unsure just how much it is able to see.

We have had this sort of injury in birds before, sometimes after a few days they begin to regain their sight so we are giving this one a bit of time to get itself together.

Today Mr & Mrs Gallet called to donate a home made proggie rug to use in our Christmas Raffle.

It is a beautiful prize so a very big thank you goes to them.