Friday July 17th

Really heavy rain today. We had a lovely Barn Owl picked up as a casualty up near the river Huntspill. I occasionally see one flying over late at night when I drive down the A38 – I wonder if it is the same one ? I expect the heavy rain over the last few days has denied it the chance to hunt. Barn Owls have especially soft feathers to give them silent flight but in wet weather the feathers will become waterlogged so they are unable to go out and hunt. This is when, in days gone by, the barns full of hay would be a

Barn Owl hungry and exhausted

Barn Owl hungry and exhausted

hunting place for rats and mice in the dry. With so much silage made now and often left out in the fields this food source is no longer available to the barn owls.

 This one just seems to be starving and exhausted so hopefully we shall be able to feed him up and let him go again.

We have a kestrel and two sparrow hawks in at the moment and I expect they also will have been affected by the heavy rainfall.

Kestrel - probably affected by the heavy rain too

Kestrel - probably affected by the heavy rain too

Simon, Danni’s husband, who is running our Dartmoor Dare got caught at Salisbury Plain so he was unable to make it back for the meeting this evening to update all the brave people taking part. It was a bit short notice so sorry if we put you lot out at all. Another meeting is planned and Danni will let you know. I think you are all very brave !! If you want to know more about The Dartmoor Dare – a three day sponsored event in August walking 45 miles with no tents, toilets and on army rations – ( you’re mad! ) but you can get more details by ringing Danni or Jamie 01278 783250.


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Posted by:

Pauline

at 7:20 pm

Thursday 16th July

We had a morning meeting with our trustees, architect and other advisors to look at the design of our wildlife hospital. Now that we have a dedicated fundraiser for the hospital things seem to be moving forward which is great.

 In the afternoon it was the all important hair appointment at the hairdressers. I vowed to grow old gracefully a few years ago – then vanity took over !! Anyway it’s a forced hour or so off which is great but I have a job not to fall asleep in the chair!! 

Home in time to do the final feeds for the deer. The red deer do sometimes use the extra shed but generally they are all in with the others. Chaela’s injury is just a pink mark now.

The Reds sometimes use the new shed

The Reds sometimes use the new shed

They all get on well

They all get on well

 It was soon time for the trustees meeting which starts at 5.30 p.m. and finished after 1 ½ hours which is practically unheard of but meant I had time to get ready and dash of to a talk at Nailsea. Home by 10.30, fed the otter ( who was rather cross as I was late !) – my last job and fell into bed!

 

Hope - "You're late!!"

Hope - "You're late!!"


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Posted by:

Pauline

at 6:59 pm

Wednesday July 15th

Spent the day with a film crew from the One Show. It’s not going to be shown until November so you’re going to have to wait for more details! It took up most of the day and one of the most difficult things was the change in the weather from brilliant sun to dull cloudy spells or even heavy rain. We were near an air force base so kept on hearing helicopters in the middle of a take, so all good fun !!

I had promised Stuart, one of our volunteers that I would go to his Gateway Club in Cheddar this evening. Stuart has been with us for over 20 years. He first came to do gardening but soon became more interested in animals. Luckily Helen, a volunteer came with me so we were able to take a few animals for them to see.

Helen with Twinkle at the Gateway Club

Helen with Twinkle at the Gateway Club

 Twinkle the tawny was a star as usual, as were the hedgehogs and Albert came too! I took one of the Frizzle cockerels which caused a stir !! With Amber the kestrel, a snake and a bat, it all went well. We managed to get them all settled in their aviaries/ pens once back home before it got late. 

I always enjoying meeting them all

I always enjoying meeting them all

 The Shelduckling was taking a swim when I went in with the hedgehog babies at the end of the evening. He has really grown.

Shelduckling having a bath - he's grown !

Shelduckling having a bath - he's grown !

 A full day tomorrow with meetings, a talk and a hair appointment ( very important to cover the grey hair!!)


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Posted by:

Pauline

at 6:42 pm

We conquered Brean Down!

I can’t believe it’s almost a whole month since I updated this blog! How incredibly slack! Well I am happy to report that my training has been a lot more regular than my blogging!

So how has the training been going since the last entry? Very well thank you very much!

We’ve chalked up another couple of five mile runs, we’ve done some shorter runs, but done at a faster pace and we’ve even done a 60 minute run which included a stint along Brean Beach, and then up, across and over Brean Down. That one in particular is probably the highlight of the training so far and I think both Lisa and myself would be in agreement is that it was the sort of run that we could never have even imagined us completing a couple of months ago.

I have also finally bitten the bullet and started adding in an extra training run at the weekend; I figured I was being slightly fool hardy expecting me to complete the half marathon on just two training sessions per week!

Unfortunately Lisa’s training has had to be put on hold for a week or so as she’s locked away at home with suspected Swine Flu! But we’ve heard that she’s feeling better and her isolation period should come to end after this weekend.

So I think it will be another five mile run tonight, some interval training or hill sprints at the weekend, something like a gentle 3 miles to ease Lisa back in on Tuesday, and then think about attacking a 6 or 7 mile course on Thursday.

We now have one space left to run in the Bristol Half Marathon on September 6thcontact me for more details.

If you haven’t got the energy to run yourself, my sponsorship page is now live! Remember, any money I raise in sponsorship will go towards the care of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife at Secret World. To sponsor me online, click the button below.

Thanks


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Posted by:

Jamie

at 1:56 pm

Tuesday July 14th

 

 

The badger that came in last night has a territorial wound and as Lisa is off sick ( with swine flu maybe !!) we need to get him to the vets. He’s been called sooty as he is so black after being trapped in a coal bunker for several days. The list soon grows as one of the badger cubs that was separated from a group yesterday as he seemed unwell, has collapsed. There are also two hedgehogs that need to have anaesthetics to check wound, one with an injured eye and the other with an injured back leg. So it was a busy few hours first thing trying to sort it all out.

The deer have all decided to move into together so it gave us a chance to open a new shed which is alongside the fawn shed so that they can use either. It means that the deer pen with padded walls, where the red calves has been, can be scrubbed out ready for any adult deer that come in ( which at the moment, seems to be quite often).

The Cygnets have really grown

The Cygnets have really grown

The cygnets went out into a larger pen today and loved the extra space. There was a lot of running around with their short stubby wings but they soon settled.

The badger cub was sadly put to sleep as it was too ill but I have sent it for a post-mortem to find out why it went down hill so quickly. Both the hedgehogs were put to sleep, one because it had a fracture to the skull as well as the injured eye and the other had the infection in the leg and joint and was beyond help. It can get very upsetting but we have to accept that the casualties that go into the vets are usually very seriously ill and there is only so much that can be done.

Sooty was the only one to return. He has a territorial wound and is very thin but I think that is down to having been starved whilst trapped in the coal bunker. He’s still looking very dirty!

Another badger that has been with us for a few days is looking a lot stronger and feeding well so he should be going home soon. It’s going to be a busy day tomorrow as we have filming going on. Hope the weather keeps fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This badger will be going home soon

This badger will be going home soon

 

 

 

 

Sooty will need a few days rest

Sooty will need a few days rest


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Posted by:

Pauline

at 8:54 pm

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