Trevor’s Week for 15th March 2018
We were called out to rescue a buzzard after it struck a train between Buxted and Uckfield Railway Stations last week. Whilst walking along carrying out a line inspection a member of Network Rail spotted the bird on the ground close to the line. He encouraged the bird away from the track but as he didn’t have a container or think towel or anything to catch and hold the bird with he decided to continue walking along the line and phone for help. We received the call as the guy was approaching Uckfield Railway Station. He jumped on the next train and we met him at Buxted Railway Station. We let worker from Network Rail borrow a larger carrier and think blanket as well as a net and pole to catch the bird and off he went to search of the bird. After about 5 minutes he reappeared from around the corner with the buzzard safely contained in the box. One of our Vets Chris Hall from Henley House Vets was visiting our Casualty Centre so was asked to check the bird over. The buzzard was very concussed, disorientated and had blood in one eye. We are monitoring the shoulders as there appears to be a weakness in one shoulder but we are hoping this will recover given time. Thank you to Network Rail for calling us and helping to rescue the buzzard. We have always found them very helpful when dealing with wildlife on the tracks.
Rescuer Karen and I were called out to rescue a wood pigeon inside a staff kitchen area of Pallet Track in Hailsham. Using nets the wood pigeon was caught as it tried flying around the ceiling. We checked the bird over and found to be a good weight and in a healthy condition. So luckily we were able to take him outside and release him back to the wild, which he was clearly relieved about.
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Birds wings are not the easiest of limbs to fix when fractured and some fractures are almost impossible, sadly some birds have to be put to sleep because of their injuries too. However, we have had quite a run of success recently with repairing fractured wings but it all depends on the type and location of the fractures and surrounding damage as well as other factors like the general fitness of the bird, infections and deficiencies. This week has seen a number of birds from Pigeons and dove to Tawny Owls being released back to the wild thanks to new strapping and splinting technics that we are now using. One pigeon came into us a few weeks ago unable to standing via Bexhill Wildlife Rescue. They were half expecting us to have to put the bird to sleep. X-rays revealed that rather than just one fractured leg, both were in fact fractured. We knew it wouldn’t be easy. Splints were formed using coffee stirrers, cotton wool and vet wrap. Further x-rays revealed that it was still struggling to heal and the fractures were splinted once again. After 2 weeks of care his splints came off and his bones had healed much better than we were expecting. He is still with us at the moment and with physio we hope to build up his muscle and that he will soon be releasable.
Other calls this week have included a night time rescue of a gull from Bexhill after getting trapped in a garden. We think the gull was possibly concussed and after a couple of days rest the bird was looking a lot brighter and suitable for release.
Its Hedgehog Awareness Week from 6th to 12th May and I’m raising money for WRAS by doing the Barcombe 10K. In preparation I’m taking part in the Balcombe Bull Run this Sunday which is only 5miles. If you want to support me in raising money for WRAS please visit our just giving page of https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hedgehogawareness.
Trevor Weeks MBE
Founder & Operations Director
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS)
Reg Charity 1108880
24Hr Rescue Line: 07815-078234
Trevor’s Private Mobile: 07931-523958
Unit 8 The Shaw Barn, Whitesmith, East Sussex, BN8 6JD.