Trevor’s Wildlife Week for 7th March 2019

Release Toad

Release Toad

We had a handsome little toad  come into care in January which had a nasty wound on its back. It was treated very carefully in our first aid room and this week has been returned back to the wild just in time for this years taod migration season.  The wound had healed very well leaving just a small scar that hasn’t showed to effect him in any way.

Yes its that time of year again when toads are waking up and migrating out of gardens and woodland and making their way across land to their historic spawning grounds.  At night thousands of them are moving around heading back to the same water in which they were born.   So at night when it is wet and not too cold they will move in large numbers.  You will notice big and small toads, the large ones are females and at almost half the size the small ones are the males.  Often the males will stop on the warm tarmac of our roads and wait for  a female to cross. They will them climb on her back and hitch a ride down to the water and be first in line to fertilise the eggs during spawning.

Some of the key sites where they cross road in East Sussex are the back lane from Litlington to Exceat, the Harlands Estate Uckfield, Hempstead Lane Uckfield, Knowle Lane Halland, Ersham Park Hailsham, the A275 Offham Road Lewes, Spithurst Road Barcombe, Church Road Barcombe, Town Little Worth, Beechwood Lane Plumpton, Plumpton lane Plumpton,  Hundred Acre Lane Ditchling Common, South Road Wiveslfield Green and Beresford Lane near Plumpton Green.  These are certainly not the only roads they cross in East Sussex so please be careful.  If you are interested in helping at a toad crossing then head to Frog Life’s website to find out more about Toad Patrols at https://www.froglife.org/what-we-do/toads-on-roads/. Please be careful if you stop to move a toad from the road, please stay safe, wear a hi-vi tabard or jacket, use a torch and wear gloves. The male toads will frequently pee on your hands as a defence mechanism so gloves are needed.

Other casualties we have dealt with this week have included another gull entangled in discharded fishing gear.  Yet again another gull from Sovereign Harbour ion Eastbourne. This young Gull was found with a large fishing hook through his beak which had to be carefully removed.

Heathfield Bunny

Heathfield Bunny

We have had a little baby Bunny rescued in Heathfield. Caught by a Cat he has a small wound on his hind foot that required suturing. He was soon bedded down and tucking into some healthy spinach.   They has also been a young Hedgehog underweight and suffering with a broken back leg, he has been given first aid and being assessed by our vets.

WRAS rescuers have also attended to a swan on a river near Magham Down. Reports were of the swan struggling in the water. Two rescuers on one bank used long poles and torches to frighten the swan to the other side of the river where two rescuers crouched in the darkness. As the swan got closer and blinded by the torch light from the other bank rescuers managed to catch the swan by surprise and safely secure it on the bank. The swan was soon on its way to our Hospital at Whitesmith. It was assessed and after advice from the Swan Sanctuary, first aid was given and the swan transported up to their specialist vets for treatment.

Magham Down Swan

Magham Down Swan

Other calls last week included a collapsed fox in Eastbourne, injured rabbit at Sussex Downs College, poorly frog in Seaford, a hedgehog found out during the day at Plumpton College and multiple pigeons from Bexhill, Heathfield, Brighton and Burgess Hill.

Trevor’s Wildlife Week for 28th Feb 2019

Eastbourne Station Gull Rescue

Eastbourne Station Gull Rescue

Rescuers for East Sussex WRAS and Seahaven Wildlife Rescue  spent an evening at Eastbourne Railway Station after a call for help just after 7pm.  Two rescuers from our hospital attended on site after reports of a gull trapped on the roof overhanging platform 1. After assessing the situation it was soon apparent that the fire brigade would be required to reach the bird. A crew from Eastbourne Fire Station attended and were prepared to attempt a rescue but were stopped by station staff as Network Rail would not allow an attempt to made. Rescuers pleaded but to no avail. Network Rail wouldn’t budge. Not giving up, a call was made to Sussex Police who sent us back to Network Rail.

Eastbourne Station Gull Rescue

Eastbourne Station Gull Rescue

Getting nowhere, WRAS joined forces with Seahaven Wildlife Rescue to get some support and be heard. Both charities began bombarding Network rail with call after call. Eventually after the rescuers made it clear they would not be leaving without the gull, a manager attended and agreed to shut down the power. As a result East Sussex Fire & Rescue very kindly agreed to attend again and just after 1 AM power was switched off and firefighters freed the gull. Very dehydrated, underweight and a wound to its wing, it has been taken home with one of the rescues for the night for treatment and close monitoring.  A huge thank you to Seahaven WR, ESFRS, Sussex Police, the staff at the station who helped us and our rescuers.

Pigeon Release

Pigeon Release

A beautiful pigeon went back home to Eastbourne this week after recovering from being shot through his wing and leg, breaking both. It took a while for him to properly weight bear again, and his wing was still dropped slightly, but he was able to fly well. He looked fabulous when we test flew him so was sent home along with a dove from Wilmington who suffered a window strike and a very swollen head and eye as a result.

Gecko

Gecko

Last week WRAS has an unsual visitor. A suspected Rough Tailed Bowfoot Gecko came into care after travelling all the way from Dubai on a cargo ship.  As an un-native wild species with very different ecological needs than what the UK wilderness can provide. This is not something we would normally take in or rescue and we have now found him a home.

Berwick Sparrowhawk

Berwick Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk admitted has also been admitted from Berwick. Believed to have flown into a church window at Berwick village church, she has suffered a double break of both her radius and ulna. Efforts have been made to splint the fractures but only time will tell with this one.

A suspected catted Magpie has been admitted too. Found grounded in the callers garden, the corvid initially gave rescuers the run around still having the ability to fly up onto a 6ft fence.  But after finally dropping down behind a small tree, rescuers armed with nets were able to cover each exit, forcing the bird to fly into the net and become caught.  Back at the centre, he was fully assessed and had his wounds on his back and chest cleaned and treated. He also had a high internal parasite burden.  He was bedded down with a hearty meal.

Gecko

Gecko

 

Trevor’s Wildlife Week for 21st February 2019

Robin

Robin

I would like to apologise for not being able to write my column every week.  I have not been well and on some occasions this can get in the way of me being able to write and submit this each week.  I’m working on my recovery.

We have had a number of garden birds admitted into care recently.  A handsome little robin was admitted after being found grounded in an alleyway.  A lot livelier when he arrived at the centre and showing his wings do work although still a little dazed. We hope he won’t need to be with us for too long, before he is given the all clear to return home.

Tree Creeper

Tree Creeper

We have also had a Tree Creeper admitted also stunned and a suspected window strike. Looking a little disorientated he has been bedded down in our intensive care unit and will be closely monitored. The Tree Creeper was followed on by a Woodcock also suffering from a window strike, a result of being chased by Crows. He has a small graze to his beak which required surgical glue but is otherwise quite lively, and giving us hope for a quick turn around.

Woodcock

Woodcock

As from this week we are able to offer a limited return to our 24 hour rescue service. It has been heartache for us not being able to attend calls when we were most needed. Unfortunately due to staff levels at the moment we are limited to what we can attend out of hours. The phones will be on 24/7 and we will offer advice via our text service or call back.

Between 10pm and 9am WRAS will currently will only be dealing with emergency calls regarding foxes and badgers at night and can only attend to genuine emergencies. We hope to expand this as we train new rescuers. We would love to be able to deal with every casualty but those attending night calls also work during the day as well and for the quality of care we offer we can’t burn the candle at both ends forever. Please do call our rescue line and if we cannot help we will be able to at least point you in the right direction. Between 9am and 10pm, our normal hours we will continue our normal service and will as usual attempt to help as many casualties as we can with the resources we have.  Thank you all for your patience whilst we do our best to return to a full service.

Trevor’s Wildlife Week for 31st January

Cuckmere Haven Clean Up

After a New Year’s Day walk along Cuckmere Haven, two members of the WRAS team were shocked to see the build-up of plastic that has taken over the area of outstanding natural beauty. Feeling disheartened, they were determined to do something about it. With over 120 volunteers, WRAS are very lucky to have at their disposal, they knew they wouldn’t be alone. After making contact with Seven Sisters Countryside management, WRAS were given the go ahead to organise a clean up. They also very kindly offered to supply litter pickers and recycled bin liners.

Cuckmere Haven Clean Up

On Sunday a team of over 30 volunteers descended onto the banks of the River Cuckmere. After 6 hours more than 34 bags were collected, sadly only scraping the surface. Much of the waste was dominated by fishing lines and twine, with carpets of micro plastics making up the rest.  It is estimated that more than 700 pieces of litter are found in every 100m stretch of beach in the UK, and an astounding 8 million metric tonnes ending up in the ocean every year.

Cuckmere Haven Clean Up

Everyone can do their bit, it only takes one person to speak out and want to do something about it, it’s surprising how many will feel the same. Pick up some litter, join a beach clean, organise your own. Every little bit helps.

Cuckmere Haven Clean Up

This clean up comes only a week after a seal was found on Bexhill beach with fishing netting round its neck, but sadly had died at sea.

Released Pigeons

With some lovely sunny days last week Kathy was out pen cleaning and checking up on our pigeons past and present which still visit some of our release sites. Amongst them seem were Jalapeno released last year from Starlight Trust and lots of her friends, plus Crusty, Frosty and Brownie who Kathy reared at home. Its really nice to see them doing so well.

Search for fox at Splash Point

Rescuers from HM Coastguard very kindly assisted WRAS at the weekend after reports of a fox being cut off by the tide at Seaford Head. Coastguard climbed over the rocks to the beaches and assisted WRAS rescuers with searching the shore line. After over an hour of searching no fox was seen sadly.  We can only hope he’s made it to safety some way. This area next to splash point is a location frequented by foxes and then get inside the rocks of the break water. We want to thank HM coastguard volunteers for risking their lives to search for the fox for us. Incredibly grateful for them attending and assisting us safely.

RTA Buzzard

A Bird of Prey duet last week. Firstly, a Tawny Owl was admitted from Barcombe after being found behind the callers summer house. Suffering from Frounce, a yeast infection of the digestive tract, the Bird of Prey has been warmed up, given fluids and has now started on medication. Then a beautiful Buzzard was admitted after colliding with a van. The driver pulled over and stayed with the bird until rescuers arrived.  After initial fears of a pelvic fracture, an x-ray was performed but no obvious damage could be seen. Pain relief was given and his condition will be closely mon

Barcombe Tawny Owl

itored.

Trevor’s Wildlife Week for 24th January 2019

Early baby blackbird

January is not a month we expect to start getting baby garden birds coming into care! This has to be the earliest we have ever had such a young baby garden bird be admitted.

Early baby blackbird

These young blackbirds shouldn’t be coming into care until Easter!  This one was found on the ground in Falmer and is now in care and being looked after by Orphan Team Leader Katie.

Awake Bat

We also had a little pipistrelle bat which should have been hidden away hibernating found out on the ground which was transported up to Jenny Clark at her bat hospital in Forest Row.

Kathys first two baby pigeons

Not to be left out Kathy also has had two baby pigeons come into care. Both white pigeons, squeaking away they a lively little things and will keep Kathy busy for a while.

Windsor Way Polegate Hedgehog

A small hedgehog has come in from Windsor Way, Polegate after he was spotted with icicles on his whiskers. With concerns that his breathing sounded crackly the finders thought it best to call WRAS. We sent rescuers to assess him and bring him into care. He is now nicely warmed up but rather small so will be staying in for a while to build him up a bit more.

Rickney injured swan

Rescuers were called to reports of a swan with a broken wing on the river along Rickney Lane by Chillis farm. The injured bird was spotted in the bank and was clearly in distress. Rescuers approached from either side to try and sneak up on the swan but she got wise and entered the water.

Rickney injured swan

Using a net the swan was guided to one end where the water met a bank and capture would be easier. The swan was quickly caught and secured then loaded into the ambulance and taken back to our hospital at Whitesmith. The poor swan was suffering from some wounds, possibly from hitting a pylon. These were cleaned and dressed and sent up to our friends at the Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton for their specialist vets to assess and repair.

A stunning and unusually dark (melanistic) female pheasant, was rescued along the A23 in the middle of a 6 lane carriageway. It was a risky rescue due to how busy the road was, so rescuers were unable to determine the state of the pheasant, but wanting to be 100% sure, Sussex Police were called to assist.  They were able to slow southbound traffic, allowing rescuers Ellie & Keith to run on to the central reservation. To their surprise the pheasant jumped up and began running towards northbound traffic, whilst Ellie managed to slow the northbound traffic, Keith was able to net the bird just inches away from oncoming vehicles. Upon her arrival at our centre no obvious injuries could be seen and after being bedded down for the night she was happily walking around her pen and picking at her mealworms.

Probably the most stunning group ever of our young pigeons went out to their release pen this week, 12 of them, a mixture of black and white, grey and white speckled, black, red, white and browns.  In the excitement of getting them out for release Kathy forgot to take both of her mobiles and her camera, so was disappointed she didn’t manage to get any photos!  Amongst them were Brownie, Crusty and Frosty our smaller babies we had a couple of months ago.

A22 Kestrel

A gorgeous Kestrel was brought into care this week after being found in the gully of the A22. We think it most likely was clipped by a car. Stunned and with swelling round one of her eyes on admission, she was given treatment and put into one of our aviaries to recover. She has already show how well her wings still work and is already flying around.

A22 Kestrel