RSPB South Stack Reserve

Meet Denise our very own Warden and guardian angel to three House Martin chicks. On the 24 of August this year she was presented with three very sick House martin chicks. They were left in a dog bowl covered by a leaf on Plas Nico doorstep. below is Denise's account of the rescue.

Above Denise's cottage.

 "They were found by our resident volunteers Laura and Mary and they brought them straight to me. They were very cold and damp and weren’t looking very lively, to be honest I thought they weren’t going to make it. I wrapped them in a towel and used a hairdryer to warm them up and dry them, within minutes they were coming around and fluffing up, it was then I realised they were house martins – initially I thought they were swallows. They each had a tiny bit of dog food that night which I had to gently force them to eat. The next morning all 3 were gaping and begging for food and so from dawn til dusk I fed them regularly. Once I had my system set up they were easy to look after, I made them a nest in a bowl and they would reverse up the side and poop over the edge – just as they would do in the wild. I kept them on top of my boiler so they had some constant heat. Unfortunately, one died 3 days later and I lost another one last Friday, they were both feeding fine so not sure what happened. I ordered some live mealworms, which arrived promptly in the post! And the remaining one at the time of writing is close to fledging. Last Saturday I relocated the remaining chap to a window sill and made a shelf with perches which is blocked from the inside with a curtain, so when the time is right I can open the window and it can venture out and hopefully learn the skills it needs to survive, I’ll leave the window open so it can come back for a feed if it needs to. I’m worried about releasing it I just hope it hooks up with other martins and swallows and makes it back to Africa."


Above the remaining chick. Well done Denise, all three would have perished had it not been for your skills. This is the window that she will leave open hoping that the chick will fledge.

I was fortunate enough to see the above chick and I feel all credit goes to Denise for her professional skills.

I feel privileged to have seen first hand the RSPB protecting nature. The RSPB is a charity (which exactly describes this rescue) that relies upon donations from the public. There are numerous projects ongoing around the world  for which the RSPB needs funding. You can help with this by becoming a member, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are directly contributing to the protection of wildlife.

P.S. Saturday the 8th September Denise released the remaining chick, after a practice flight it fledged successfully.