TREVOR WEEKS: Eleven volunteers on the road rescuing wildlife in one evening

Gannet rescued in Sovereign Harbour Eastbourne 7th June 2016 SUS-160613-085734001
Gannet rescued in Sovereign Harbour Eastbourne 7th June 2016 SUS-160613-085734001

WRAS has had one of the busiest weeks ever. In one evening we had 11 volunteer rescuers on the road dealing with casualties from all over East Sussex.

Rescuer Laura rushed to Seaford to deal with a crow from a vets and a jackdaw that had fallen from a nest.

Tony dealt with a jackdaw and two gull chicks in Eastbourne that were washed from their roofs by the nasty weather.

Also Tony rushed to Seaford for a gull with fishing line stuck in its throat which was returned home after having it removed.

Rescuers Dave and Sarah have dealt with a gull chick fallen from a nest in Eastbourne and a jackdaw.

Rescuer Kathy went to a jackdaw in Uckfield that was chased by cats.

The callers managed to catch the bird and place out of harm’s way. Before Kathy arrived it had flown off.

Rescuer Dave brought in a catted sparrow from Newhaven.

Rescuers Mitch and Katie rushed to a robin in Uckfield which was possibly hit by a car, a jackdaw in Halland with a broken leg which had to be splinted and a catted sparrow in Ringmer.

Rescuers Andrew and Charlotte rushed to a fox with open wounds in Eastbourne that was found to be suffering from mange.

Chris and I have dealt with a gull that flew into a building with an injured shoulder, a young pigeon that had been washed out of its nest that Kathy has taken on and a stunning gannet swimming around in Sovereign harbour.

We have had two more calls to jackdaws in chimneys this week.

The first was in a chimney behind an oven in Jevington Gardens in Eastbourne.

We had to remove the oven and remove a brick where an air vent used to be.

We were able to reach in and remove the bird which we were able to release from the window ledge to be reunited with its parents.

A rather more difficult rescue was that of a jackdaw down a chimney in Heathfield.

The bird could be heard behind a shop display in the Steamer Trading shop at the old Heathfield Station.

Unlike most chimney calls which have either an electric fire in front, or a board or bricked up, this fire place had an 8ft high and 8ft wide shop display.

The only way to get to the bird was to clear the display and move the entire display forward.

It took about an hour to move everything and unscrew the display unit and move it forward, whilst rescuer Chris and I were fascinated by some very unusual and ingenious gadgets in the sale – some of which we ended up buying after the rescue!

I might have lost quite a bit of weight recently as I’ve started running twice a week, but I’m still not as thin as Chris who was able to squeeze in and rescue the jackdaw from the open fireplace.

The fledgling bird was taken outside and released into the lovely coffee garden at the back of the shop.

WRAS rescuers rushed to reports of a fox hit by a car in Jevington not far from Friston Forest.

The fox had dragged himself in to the thick undergrowth next the road.

The callers waited and when rescuers Chris and Laura arrived they pointed out where the fox had entered.

Rescuers used a thermal imaging camera that attaches to the mobile phone to search for the fox following the path that the warm fox had left.

After searching for over 30 minutes in the thick undergrowth, the faint outline and the fox’s chest showed up as a bright yellow dot.

Chris wrapped the fox up and made his way back to the ambulance where rescuer Laura was waiting and it was rushed to WRAS’s vet Mike as we feared it was paralysed.

However this turned out not to be the case. He is now in care and improving.

The thermal imaging camera was in trial as due to the cost we cannot afford to buy more than one.

Tonight was its real test and it has proved to be a life saver.

They cost around £240 each. We would love to be able to afford another three for our ambulances and for our first aid room.

If anyone would like to purchase one for us it would be a great help.

We had a horrible situation of a gull which was run over on Eastbourne Seafront after kids were seen throwing chips into the road.

The poor bird is in a critical condition and currently at our hospital. WRAS rescuers Daryl and Chris have also dealt with a gull chick at Lewes Prison fallen from a roof.

He has been safely delivered to our friends at Bird Aid.

WRAS rescuers Chris, Kai, Tony, Daryl and I have been out to Piltdown Pond to rescue a juvenile swan with a large fishing hook embedded through its top beak.

The team used our new motorised boat as well as another inflatable boat, plus drysuits to catch and rescue the swan.

Luckily the hook was not in a dangerous location and easily removed. The swan was released after a check over and allowed to flap off.

Thank you to Lewes Waitrose staff and customers for donating £550 to WRAS from their Community Matters Scheme.

Very much appreciated as well as the smaller Heathfield Waitrose who have donated £220 from their store too.