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This is a rare non-work-related article… earlier in the month myself and a friend were driving in the Highlands + Islands covering 1100 miles in just under ten days.

Near the end of the trip we were walking to a ruined castle a few miles away from civilisation with poor signal and I spotted a young seagull walking along. It was trying to take off but failed each time - why? It had a break in its left wing. We were discussing what to do and this lasted under one minute, and it vanished from our eyes.

Looking for it, it fell into tiny stream which had barely any water flowing. With a poor signal I struggled to find the RSPB’s phone number and on getting through a recorded message said we cannot assist - speak to SPCA which is the same as the RSPCA but separate. I called up and left details with a call agent who answered the call swiftly.

Five minutes later was a voicemail since the phone reception was on/off and I called back the agent to say can the officer (pictured) call back again please. In the meantime, I grabbed the grey towel shown in all the photos from the car and the phone rang. My friend re-appeared from the castle and I spoke to the officer.

The nearest SPCA site was one hour away in the wrong direction not that I would have minded spending two hours plus taking the bird there. Normally in car parks, Tesco in this case, illicit deals happen. The officer asked me to get the bird and hand it to her in the Tesco superstore 15 minutes drive away.

One thing I remembered from a 50-minute talk on falconry last month in England is covering a bird’s head drastically calms it down. We walked back to the stream to find the bird still there alive and I carefully covered the bird’s wing + eyes. It took a few attempts to get it since it started to move and peck.

Then I carried it to the car where my friend reluctantly put a towel down and held it for 15 minutes plus till we reached Tesco’s car park. He may never forgive me. On reaching the car park I took the cute bird and held it till the officer arrived. I asked what will you do and she said a vet will check it and since the break is further away from the body it has a good chance.

She also said after storms they get more callouts due to injuries like I spotted. Lastly she said it would have been from this years hatchlings and it takes two years for them to become adults and turn white. I doubt it would have survived long without the ability to fly. Miss or Master seagull I wish you good luck in life!

I must commend the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for their excellent service - £50 coming your way today.

Mrs Sturgeon, when it comes to new years honours do remember me for saving a Scottish seagull!!!