Wednesday 31 August 2016


Feels quite flat out there today, despite the thick cloud cover.  Black Hole Marsh this morning showed nothing new, just what has been there for a few days with two each of Little Stint and Ruff, at least one LRP, 10 Ringed Plover, 35 Dunlin, three Water Rail, Snipe, a heap of Teal, etc etc..

So I'll take this quiet day to post something that really has made our week. If you don't feel a warm feeling inside after reading this then you need to check you still have a pulse...

Late afternoon on Sunday 17th July the door bell rang, and there greeting us was a young boy who looked about 10, with his mother. The boy had his hands cupped and was clearly holding something small with care...

"We've found this baby bird, what should we do?".

He had a baby House Martin in his hands, fluffy white feet and all.  The first thing to do was obvious, and everyone please do this if a baby bird is handed to you, I asked them to take me to exactly where it was found.  This was only a short walk away, but it was nowhere near any House Martin nests. A complete mystery as to how it got there!? The best practice with grounded fledglings is always to leave them be, you may possibly have to move them out of immediate danger (i.e. just off the ground or off a busy path), but otherwise do very little. This clearly wasn't an option though in this case...

I checked it over and there were no obvious injuries, and it was also a good size with the primaries about a third grown. So I decided the best thing to do would be to take it in.  We made it a nest in a box, and thankfully after about twenty minutes it began taking the mealworms we were offering it.

For the next few days Jess and I fed 'Marti' every hour during the day, until 10 at night. And then from 6am in the morning. What was amazing was how even after just a few hours, Marti learnt the noise of the tupperware lid coming off the tub meant it was feeding time, he would only start begging after hearing this. Also he instantly knew to stick his bum out of his make shift nest when he needed to poo, this must be so hardwired.

Jess and Marti

After just a few days he began to get more flappy and adventurous, so I knew it was time he had to go somewhere better equipped.  Catherine Willerton informed me she was heading up to RSPCA West Hatch the following morning, perfect, thanks Catherine :-)

And why am I posting this only now?  Well last night I heard that in early August, Marti was taken to a farm a few miles from West Hatch where they release rehabilitated hirundines, and off he flew... 

Makes all the effort so so rewarding.

It wasn't just this news that gave me a good feeling inside, but the fact the young lad who first found him wanted to help - he wanted that baby bird to be ok. I often find myself in complete despair with the younger generations of today, so for me this was so refreshing. I must track him down and give him the good news.

Good luck and Godspeed Marti

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