Trevor’s Wildlife Week for 7th March 2019
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.
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.
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.