Good day one and all!
Everyone at Hollytrees, whether two legged or four, would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year!! We've had an extremely busy year at the centre and we get through it with your amazing support. We honestly couldn't help as many or as wider variety of animals without your help!
Below you can find a digital copy of our Christmas card and newsletter for your perusal. (Requires a PDF viewer like Adobe Acrobat to view)
2015 Christmas Card (outer)
2015 Christmas Card (inner)
2015 Christmas Newsletter
Once again hope you have a very Merry Christmas and an incredible New Year!
Well folks, today we were involved with something a bit different!
The delightful dynamic duo Sunny and Shay from BBC West Midlands popped by this afternoon to do a live broadcast from the centre itself!
I will prepare a more detailed write up including photos and videos. But for now I invite you to check the show out on BBC WMs Listen Again (Link below) as well as Sunny and Shay's Facebook and Twitter pages.
BBC WM Listen Again (available until 3rd Dec)
Sunny and Shay Facebook
Sunny and Shay Twitter
I would just like to say a huge thank you to Sunny and Shay (and producers and support staff of course) for coming and seeing us in our little part of the world. It was a thoroughly enjoyable time and would love to have you back.
A gentleman contacted us a few days ago reporting that he had found what appeared to be an injured Hobby near Kingsbury Water Park. As with all wildlife cases, I told him to bring it straight up to us and we would do everything we could to help him.
Upon closer inspection he only seemed to have damage to his one wing. Thankfully we were put in touch with Amicus veterinary surgery, who are well known for treating birds and indeed all kinds of wildlife. A very efficient young lady digitally X-rayed his wing so as to see the extent of the damage and luckily it only looked like a minor break to one of the bones. He was prescribed complete rest for at least 6 weeks and some vitamins and supplements to boost him up during his recovery.
I am pleased to say he is settled in and eating extremely well. After his initial rest he will be moved in to a larger aviary so he can build up the muscles around his wing. When he has made a full recovery we will be releasing him back in to the wild around where he was found.
He has proved to be a very interesting patient indeed. He is not the first bird of prey we have had in but he is definitely the first Hobby and is an absolute delight to observe. In the wild their main diet are birds such as swallows, swifts and house martins, as well as insects such as dragonfly. All of which they generally catch on the wing!
A massive well done to the gentleman who rescued this delightful bird and a special thank you to Amicus for their aid.
Today was a lovely sight to behold. The ducklings that we have been rearing for the last few weeks have been released. We have been able to keep them very wild and such releasing them was just a matter of waiting for them to grow up a bit. Watching the mother duck, who also adopted the orphaned group of ducklings in to her brood, set off with all the babies in tow was an absolute joy and makes all the work totally worth it.
Below you can see some pictures we took not long before their release, showing just how much they've grown in such a short amount of time.
The young chickens are still with us, once they are old enough they will be re-homed.
Just a quick update to say that our Tawny Owl that got himself tangled up in Christmas lights was released last night. After some weeks of getting him used to the local owls in a large aviary we left the door open overnight and left it up to him. We keep a supply of food in the same spot so that the transition isn't too stressful, but other than that he is off roaming free now. Such a wonderful sight to see them successfully rehabilitated and released back in to the wild!
Two long standing friends and members of the charity called me up on Thursday to say they had a bewildered pheasant who had taken residence in their greenhouse. They told me he seemed quite happy and was eating the bird food they were putting out for him but were worried in case the local foxes came and picked him off. So off I went nets in hand to try and catch him.
He was really quite easy to catch, wasn't too scared of me. But upon closer inspection he turned out to be a Grey francolin (also known as a 'Teetar', so called because of the calls they make - a loud and repeated Ka-tee-tar...tee-tar"). He immediately settled in at the center and very much enjoys all the attention he gets as he is definitely an unusual sight.
Well done and a big thank you to all of our members and helpers.
Today we got a call from 'YourVets' (Wythall branch) to say that a young deer had been hit by a car and wondered if we would be able to take it in. They X-ray'd him and there was no sign of any broken bones or internal injuries. Of course I went straight out and collected the little darling. Straight from there I had to go and get some goats milk to bottle feed him with. He took to this really well thankfully, as this is the hardest part. We will rear him, keeping him as wild as possible and hopefully release him back in to the wild if he makes it through!
Rosie, a fantastic friend of ours, who attends the local primary school very thoughtfully put our name forward as a beneficiary of a charity cake sale the school were holding. They did extremely well raising £40 for us. Below you can see Rosie and I when she brought the money to us after school. I had no idea about this until she turned up at the door with the donation!
Our connection with Coppice run very deep as all three of my daughters were taught there. Thank you very much to everyone at the school who was involved, as the saying goes every bit helps and this will certainly be put towards the welfare of the animals in our care.
What a day! Caught two separate familes of ducks and then had a clutch of chickens brought in on the evening!
The one family had nested in the roof garden of John Lewis in Solihull, which she has done for many years, the staff were worried that the magpies and crows were going to pick them off. The other family was from Shawhurst Lane in Hollywood with not a pond in sight.
Then on the evening we had a clutch of young chicks brought in who instantly took to the orphaned ducks as you can see!
The ducklings will all be raised on to approximately 6 weeks before being released back in to the wild. Nature starts to take over at about 3 weeks old as they become less trusting and dependent. The chicks will be raised on and re-homed.
All in all another very busy day at the centre!
Another very busy day as more baby birds arrive at the centre. Firstly we had a baby pheasant brought to us. Sadly the local fox had took off with her parents and she was the only survivor from the nest. She is a fiesty little devil! She is feeding for herself which is a good sign, and hopefully we can keep her wild enough that she can be released when she is old enough.
Then we had a juvenile blackbird brought in (pictured below). Thankfully he has taken really well to being syringe fed. Sometimes they get stubborn and switch-off, due to fear presumably, but this guy is being good as gold. Once he is feeding for himself we will keep him in an outdoor aviary to weather off and go wild before being released. We actually have a blackbird who came in roughly the same age who is due for release very soon. Hopefully this little guy won't be too far behind!
Well done to all the people who are rescuing these young birds!