Wishing you all a happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year from Myself & my team of helpers, Dakota, Nugget and Autumn.
Special thanks to everyone that has supported me during the year, Amparo, Niamh, Melanie, Louise, Nuala, John and Carol.
Many thanks to Jo & Stuart at Lough Bo Kennels for donating €100 instead of sending Christmas cards to their clients and to Kate for selling her bird photographs to raise €100.
I held a fundraiser on October 9th at the Teeling Centre in Collooney, which John very kindly let us use without charge as his contribution to the sanctuary.
We had a very special guest, Pauline McGlynn who you will know as ‘Mrs Doyle’ in Father Ted. Pauline did a hen agility course with Nugget the hen fro the sanctuary.
Two friends worked with their dogs, Sheila did a fashion parade with her dog Kim and Brenda worked with her dogs, Cadeau & Pip, I worked with Dakota and Autumn.
I would like to say a special Thank you to Sheila and Brenda for the work they did during the weeks prior to the show.
A huge Thank you to Mary for spending countless hours baking her wonderful cakes and for providing everyone with refreshments on the day.
Special thanks to my son Derek & Catherine for their help on the day and a huge Thank you to Derek for sorting out a technical problem on the day and for providing the music for the acts.
A big Thank you to Darren and Suzie, the sanctuary vets for their contribution from their stall and their continued care of the birds.
Many thanks to Shane and Clare who helped behind the scenes looking after Dakota, Autumn and Nugget.
Thank you to Lonely and Ciaran for their great help on the day and last but not least Thank you to everyone that came along to support us, you raised an amazing €721.60.
See you all next year!!
Recent arrivals that have been successfully rehabilitated and released.
Click on the image to enlarge.
Fledging Dunnock that was attacked by a cat.
10 Housemartin fledgings that were brought in after their nests were destroyed by sparrows.
2 Flycatchers that came in at first a few hours old after their nest and other nestlings were attacked by a cat.
Mallard duck with a neck injury.
Starling fledgling that was attacked by a cat.
Juvenile crow that was hit by a car.
Starling juvenile that was attacked by a cat.
Robin fledgling that was attacked by a cat.
Mistle thrush fledgling attacked by a cat.
Nestling crow that fell or was kicked out of nest because he was very ill with respiratory problems. He is still being hand reared.
One happy chap!! : )
Blackbird fledgling that was attacked by a cat.
A hooded crow that spent the last 7 years confined in a small room in a house with no contact apart from a mouse for company, he now has a new lease of life.
Thrush with multiple bits from a cat.
A male Mallard duck was brought in after being found at the side of a riverbank with injuries to both eyes and the surrounding area.
The left eye is also very cloudy apart from the surrounding injured area.
The right eye a few days after treatment
Area around the left eye has now healed but it would seem there is little, if any, vision in this eye.
Very sore left eye on admission. This little chap is fully recovered and can go back courting the ladies
Condor, the sparrow that was brought in as a nestling became the cheekiest bird I have ever known. When I released him I felt he would be delighted to be free to fly in the wild.
Condor, however, had other ideas he returned every afternoon for his tea and roosted in a shed attached to an aviary. That was his routine all through the winter until a few days ago he failed to return one afternoon.
I have not seen him since but there is a female sparrow regularly visiting the feeding station.
It may well be that she has a nest and has laid eggs because the males guard the nest.
I don’t see too many sparrows here so am really hoping that is what is happening with him. I miss seeing him around because he is such a character.
Extensive injuries following a bizarre occurance.
She was dropped by a Hawk onto Katja’s car.
Noel kindly brought her in quickly after the incident but she had deep puncture wounds and no use of her legs. I treated her for shock, stabilised the legs and treated her wounds.
After a couple of days she started to move her left leg and began eating with enthusiasm.
Gradually the movement returned in both legs and she was able to stretch out her toes and then was able to perch.
We had a few days of warm sunny weather so I put her cage in an aviary so that she could see and hear other birds in order to keep her spirits up.
After a few days I was able to put her in the aviary and she was flying and navigating with no problem at all.
She is now back in the wild.
On the 30th November, whilst I was out getting supplies, persons or a person got into the Sanctuary and opened the doors to the aviaries and opened both gates to Sir Edgars enclosure. Edgar is a Raven that was shot and has extensive damage to his side and wing leaving him unable to fly. Edgar has gone.
A little Skylark that I had rehabilitated and was over wintering has gone. Bonnie, the Jackdaw who has wing damage and has very limited flight, had got out but fortunately had gone into one of the sheds and had found hen’s eggs, so was still there when I returned.
The less able hens that are kept in the same area had taken the opportunity, seeing the open doors, of going into the aviary to get the seed on the ground. Unfortunately they also pecked at Princess, the little wood pigeon that has spent months recovering from a serious head injury. She has very limited flight and spends most of her time at ground level. Princess has been through so much already, including losing an eye and part of her face so it was very distressing to find her like this. Fortunately her injuries were superficial and after a course of antibiotic and lots of TLC she seems fine.
I cannot begin to tell you the pain this has caused me. Since Edgars arrival on 2nd July I have spent hundreds of hours with him. He was in a very bad way physically and was terrified of humans. Slowly but surely he gained confidence with me and was playing, chattering all day and clearly happy
Yes, Edgar should have been free but someone’s cruelty took away that choice. Now someone has taken away the happiness he had found.
I am heartbroken. I see him all the time, but he’s not there.
My aim, always, is to treat, rehabilitate and release birds back to the wild. If they are not released there is a very good reason. However, if they cannot cope or are stressed in any way in captivity they are put to sleep.
I have devoted my whole life to the Sanctuary and have not had a full day off in 5 years. I love every minute and am constantly thinking of ways to stimulate and make their environment as close to their natural one as possible.
I have spent a lot of time and money making the Sanctuary safe from predators. Sadly my thoughts did not include the human kind.
I thank the Garda for their advice on security and systems are now in place, however this has meant using savings for another aviary which will be much needed come Spring.
Meeting the financial needs of the Sanctuary is always a struggle as I work entirely on my own so this is a big set back for me.
This incident has caused suffering in many ways but the birds suffering is unimaginable.
Sir Edgar will always be in my heart.
I would like to thank everyone for their messages and good wishes and a very special thank you to Jo and Stuart from Lough Bo boarding kennels and Geraldine Bailey for their very kind donations which I will put towards the new aviary.
This little nestling was brought in by Peter after he found him abando0nded in his garden. I immediately put him in a heated hospital cage and gave him a feed. That was the start of a very tiring few weeks because he needed feeding every half an hour up until late evening, with each day starting in time to feed him at 6am when he started shouting for food. Peter had named him Condor. If his size didn’t fit the name, his appetite certainly did !! So started our journey together. Because I work entirely on my own, Condor had to come everywhere with me, travelling on a hot water bottle in the car, when I had to get supplies. Condor continued to thrive and when it was time for his release I had mixed emotions. Joy that he had matured into a very strong healthy little chap but, as always, when I release any bird, the concerns of him surviving in the wild with all the challenges wild birds face. I need not have worried at all. Condor has not only survived but decided he would have bed and breakfast here. Every afternoon he comes into one of the sheds where he stays overnight. He has breakfast in the morning and then spends the day going from the bird table, hen food, anything he can eat in fact ! Condor very often travels around the Sanctuary perched on the top of my head, whilst I am doing my chores. He has it all worked out.
Edgar arrived at the sanctuary on the 2nd July. He had been shot in the side and the wing. The rest of his family were killed. Someone then kept him for a month without seeking Veterinary help for him. This resulted in Edgar’s injuries healing in an unnatural way. He will never be able to fly. When Edgar first arrived he was absolutely terrified of everything. I have a very large open enclosure for him with trees and a shed he can go in if he chooses to. During the last 4 months Edgar has slowly gained confidence and physical strength. Not long after he arrived he became very ill and I did not expect him to survive. He needed intensive care and thankfully he slowly recovered. He had an infection from one of his wounds which had been slowly debilitating him before he even arrived here. If I sit in his enclosure he will now come and stand a foot or two away from me. He doesn’t trust me enough to let me touch him or take food from me but Ravens are the least social of all the Corvids, so I would not expect anything more at this stage. He will not tolerate anyone else approaching his enclosure. He is one of the most magnificent birds I have had the privilege to work with.