TREVOR WEEKS: Guillemots at Birling Gap - and last week’s duck is doing well

SUS-160125-085129001
SUS-160125-085129001

Last week’s duck which was run over in Framfield is doing very well. It’s such a shame that the two siblings died on the road. Fearing the worst after the youngster was very reluctant to use the leg, our vet investigated further and thankfully no fractures were found and we hoped it was mainly bruising.

The duck is now on pain relief, hydrotherapy and some rest.

The duck is now starting to enjoy his baths and starting to use is leg again.

Hopefully he won’t be with us for too much longer.

There is a short video clip of our duck having a bath on our YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/user/eastsussexwras.

WRAS have dealt with several calls about guillemots stranded at Birling Gap.

Rescuer Chris happened to be out for a run on his day off close to where one of the reports was phoned in from.

He was meeting his partner Laura there for lunch so the two of them went down onto the beach and managed to catch the bird.

The bird was a bit battered but a good weight and was transported to RSPCA Mallydams to their specialist sea bird facilities.

Guillemots are deep sea birds and like razorbills are specialist birds to treat and care for.

The only time they generally come to land is when nesting, otherwise they spend virtually all of their time out at sea.

Their legs are not designed to be on hard surfaces so in care they have to be kept on rubber matting.

It’s really important that they can swim and dive for food so the RSPCA have special outdoor tanks where they can ensure the birds are waterproofed and can dive and catch food properly before release.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s we used to get hundreds of guillemots and razorbills coming ashore covered in oil, this rarely happens these days due to changes in legislation which makes it illegal for tankers to wash their tanks out in the sea.

The cause of these birds coming ashore is more to do with lack of food or stormy weather causing these birds to lose track of the food source they are following.

Thank you to staff at Sainsbury’s in Hampden Park who have kindly donated a load of animal food to help our patients after we successfully rescued a fox in their warehouse, treated it and released it just before Christmas.

Also a big thank you to everyone at The Old School Guest House in Denton who have raised £79.33p from one of our charity tins.

If you would like a WRAS charity tin please contact us for more information.

This week calls have included a catted blackbird in Hailsham with a broken wing who sadly had to be put to sleep; a pigeon from Cade Street in Eastbourne with canker; a jackdaw in Newick with an injured wing that managed to escape; a fox in Burgess Hill with an injured leg sadly was too mobile for capture and a hedgehog with an ear infection found in Ridgewood, Uckfield.

We have also had a gull caught in netting and a cat attacked pigeon in Eastbourne; a road casualty pheasant in Rushlake Green, a road casualty kestrel from Burwash, a partridge in Lewes and a pigeon from Willingdon.

We have a new fox in care, which has what looks like a shaved patch on his side, and a possible wound which has received veterinary treatment.

The fox was caught in a garden with high fences which it couldn’t jump over, but the finders shut the fox in the garden and called us because of the visible injury to the side of the body.

The wounds are not fresh and healing very well and clearly not infected but there is little fur covering on the wound site, so we have decided to keep the fox in for a week or so to give the wounds a chance to grow a bit more fur before we release the fox back in its home range.

Our duty rescue co-ordinator Chris Riddington is doing the Endurance Life Sussex Trail Marathon on the March 19.

Chris has been with WRAS for a number of years.

He is one of the most dedicated and caring members of our team at WRAS and as with all of our staff and volunteers there is no way we would be able to cope with the high demand on our service without him.

Chris has not run a marathon before so this will not be easy but he is training hard.

You can help through by sponsoring him on his Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/CHRISWRAS.