Trevor’s Week for 10th August 2016
There has been a real change in the type of calls we receiving this week. Less gull calls and more of a variety of species and incidents. Kathy and I almost got a break this week with most of her hand reared baby pigeons and doves having been sent to the Casualty Centre, but they were suddenly followed by loads more babies coming into care. As the pigeons are crop fed from early in the morning till late at night they end up with us at home rather than staying at the centre. I was called to reports of a catted duckling in Bachelor Way in Uckfield only to be presented with a baby wood pigeon. This is a common mistake as they see the yellow fluff, flat duck like beak but don’t notice that the bird hasn’t got webbed feet. Although when they get older and their voice breaks they do start to sound a bit like ducks!
Rescuers Andrew and Charlotte were called to assess a nest of baby pigeons in Bexhill after they were disturbed. Luckily the parents were still feeding them and they have nice full crops so the owners have agreed to keep a watchful eye over them and they have been left in place. Changes in the use of General Licences has really restricted when nests can be disturbed now.
Another pigeon came into care after the finders found the little chap trying to take up residence in a hedgehog house. The poor bird was a juvenile struggling away from the protection of its parents so is now in care being looked after.
Rescuer Laura and Chris attended a call on behalf of British Divers Marine Life Rescue in Seaford last week. The finders of the young Harbour Seal pup had picked it up off the beach and carried it to their car and placed it in the boot. Chris and Laura managed to contain the seal and transport the poorly little one to RSPCA Mallydams in Fairlight where they were met by Richard Thomas who bedded it down in their specialist seal facilities. The seal was very underweight and had an injury to its muzzle which was rather swollen. We have also had several calls to the seals at Sovereign Harbour this week. One of the seals has a red colouration round its head, this is not blood, just staining from a reddish coloured silt further along the coast.
Thursday last week in just 6 hours we were called to deal with a young Housemartin at The Forges Ringmer, two young Housemartins fallen from a nest at Rolling Mill Maresfield, a baby Wood Pigeon fallen from a nest at Glyndebourne Opera House, a baby hedgehog out during the day with flystrike and maggots from North Chailey, a baby hedgehog out during the day with maggots from Northdown Road Newhaven, a baby hedgehog out during the day with fly strike and maggots found in Wannock Road Recreation Ground Polegate, a Tawny Owl trapped inside an animal pen in Ockley Lane Burgess Hill, and we have also collected a Sparrow with a damaged beak, a nestling pigeon and a pigeon with severe canker from Bexhill Wildlife Rescue, a Kestrel with hundreds of very small ticks around the eyes from Church Hill Ringmer, a Gull with an injured leg in Alder Close Eastbourne, an grounded and underweight adult swift collected from Claremont Road Seaford and a Blackbird hatchling from Broderick Road Eastbourne.
Mum and three about 1 week old baby hedgehogs also came into care. Sadly the nest was destroyed during some garden work. If you disturb a nest please try to cover it back over as soon as possible and let Mum return and she will most likely move the babies when she feels safe to do so. Do not handle them, or take photos with them. If you need to handle them to replace them then rub your hands in soil so that mum will not kill them if she feels they are threatened. Sadly this mum will now have to rear these little ones in care. She will be released home once they are weaned and the babies will be soft released elsewhere.
Three blind mice have come into care from Eastbourne after being found in a garden. Our amazingly hard working and dedicated Orphan Team warmed then up and are now hand rearing them. You can see a video of these little ones being fed on our Facebook page.
We had a spate of calls from Uckfield after a heron landed in a garden but was rather weak and only just managed to take off and fly. Three times we sent rescuers to the area to try and catch the heron but the bird flew off before rescuers arrived. Finally on the fourth occasion the bird was caught and found to be rather underweight and is now at the Swan Sanctuary being looked after as we don’t have enough space. We have also had a window strike willow warbler come into care.