SANCTUARY NEWS - AUTUMN/WINTER 2018
This has been a rather difficult year for the sanctuary. The long very hot summer was exhausting for us and kept us busy ensuring our residents had plenty of water and were cool enough, plus an influx of birds, some needing hand rearing. Then we seemed to go very quickly on to wet, windy and then cold weather. Conditions affected things we grow and although some flourished well, others did not do so well and produced a reduced harvest. The threat of a harsh winter is not welcome and as difficult to manage as the very hot weather. The goats especially dislike windy and wet weather and so we need a lot more hay for them.
We have also struggled financially due to the loss of almost half our regular monthly income. One fund-raiser had to give up her premises due to redevelopment, and the other in Bristol had to go due to abusive behaviour to the public and disabled. It was the right decision even though it has cost us financially. However because of all this, we are putting a special appeal to follow here, and may have to consider this appeal going on on a crowd funding site too.
Nellie went home after her six month stay with us. She is a joy and no trouble at all. This time she enjoyed the company of other pigeons around her and seemed completely content.
All the pigeons we were hand rearing took a long time going on to feeding themselves but are now doing so. Henge and Spinney are now in a huge unit in the paddock so that Henge can practise flying for release. Spinney, who has only one eye and a deformed beak, will have to stay but we have another lone pigeon we hope to go in with him when his sibling goes free.
Fairy, the collared dove is still very small and will also stay with us as she would be vulnerable in the wild, and so will Percy, the pigeon with the gammy leg who is also totally tame.
In October we chicken-sat again, with three extra new ladies this time, and it was a nice experience, plus some lovely fresh eggs to enjoy.
Thankfully with the problems this year all our residents have remained very healthy, given the escalating cost of necessary veterinary visits. Some of our residents are now rather old so it is always important to keep them healthy. Our cockatiel, Holly, is at least twenty now, plus owls, Wol 24, Sorrel 21 and most of our remaining rabbits who came to us as adults many years back, are now very elderly. It will be a sad time when these long term residents finally reach their span but hopefully will go on for a long time yet. Sadly we did lose one very special and brave rabbit, Tansy, who coped amazingly with just her two back legs, she is buried in our new memorial garden now named Tansy's Garden.
Speckles, one of our seagulls has grown into a truly beautiful bird. Seeing them close to, I am sure most people do not appreciate their beauty as they seem to court controversy in most places. Both our gulls have been hand reared from chicks and so rely on us for food, which would make them vulnerable, seeking out humans which would not be welcome. When we go round to the paddock they both greet us with full throated calls. We have put sand, pebbles and large containers of water in their aviaries to make it as natural as possible for them.
We will end by wishing all our fund-raisers and supporters:
A VERY HAPPY, PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS
AND A WONDERFUL 2019.
Our grateful thanks to you all, and our hope for a much better, less stressful year to come. More news soon from the sanctuary.