Trevor’s Week - April 11, 2012: Spring brings challenges

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SPRING, for WRAS, is definitely here! This week has seen our first young blackbirds come in as well as a little cat-attacked robin too.

The two blackbirds were fairly mature when they came in and almost fledging, but sadly had been caught by a cat.

If you have cats and you know there are fledglings in your garden please try and keep the cats inside for 24 hours. It won’t hurt the cats, and could save the lives of the birds. The robin came in on Friday morning again as a cat attack victim picked up in Langney.

Kate is in the process of bringing in the first volunteers for our orphan rearing teams to help with the various feeding shifts. We still have a few gaps, so if you would be interested in joining our orphan rearing team at our Casualty Centre on the A22 Whitesmith not far from Hailsham, Lewes and Uckfield, Contact Kate on 01825 873003.

We are looking for people to help between 6.30am and 9.30am on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday, plus people for the daytime shift 9.30am till 6pm on Thursday and Sunday, plus the evening shifts between 6pm and 9.30pm on Friday and Saturday.

No previous experience is necessary, but if you have handled birds or previously reared any you will have a head start. We do need people to commit to an on-going regular shift each week, during the spring and summer seasons.

We also have a female chaffinch come in from South Heighton near Newhaven, after flying into a window or wall.

This amazing bird was unable to fly and was picked up quite easily, and taken back to WRAS’s Casualty Centre for 24 hours’ rest and recuperation.

The following day she was full of life and flying well so was released back close to where found.

We have two little wood pigeon babies in, we originally had calls to say they were ducklings which had fallen from a nest in a hedge, but they don’t have webbed feet and are the wrong shape, size and colour for ducklings. They are being hand reared too by WRAS carer Kate.

Carer Carrie is also looking after two young feral pigeons which are from a house in Peacehaven.

There have been a few problems this week in contacting people after they have left answerphone messages, most of the time we are able to call back within 15minutes if the call is a genuine emergency call, but we are finding frequently that the number we call is engaged and we can’t get through. What some people do is call on a landline and give a mobile number to call back on, this way the number we call back on is going to be clear even if you decide to use the landline to call another organisation instead of waiting. On the communication front, our e-mails have been playing up over the past couple of weeks, so if you have e-mailed us and not had a response please try re-sending it and we will now hopefully receive it and be able to reply too.

A greenfinch was rescued in Seaford last week, but was only stunned so we were able to release him back at Lexden Drive. Several of our doves have also been released this week too, although we had to wait for the really hard frosty nights to pass before we could. These cold nights have prevented us from releasing any hedgehogs recently too, as we don’t want them struggling to find place to hide and keep warm during the frosty nights, and especially with last week’s risk of snow too.

We are running another Waterfowl Awareness Training Course. The aim of this course is to educate and increase awareness of the main species of waterfowl found on local park and village ponds as well as those found on other inland waterways. The course also looks at their behaviour and habits as well as looking at the main problems faced by these birds. The course is designed for members of the public and also covers several myths about waterfowls too.

This is a fun and informative training session, and can show you how you can help us care for your local wildlife on your local park or village ponds. Please come along and learn more plus help wildlife at the same time. The course will be run, from East Sussex WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre, Unit 8 The Shaw Barn, A22, Whitesmith, BN8 6JD, only a 10 minute drive from Hailsham, Lewes and Uckfield, on Tuesday 10th April 2012 from 1pm to 3.30pm.

The course costs just £8 per person, but additional donations are very much appreciated. 100% of the proceeds go directly to help WRAS help wildlife in need. Please help spread the word and pass this on to other. To book please call 01825 873003.

The badgers rescued at East Hoathly and Laughton are doing well. The East Hoathly badger should be fit for release within the next week or so, but the Laughton badger with the injuries to his neck might take longer but they are certainly eating us out of house and home, but loving their luxury straw beds, blankets and food each night, bless them.

We have had a couple of hedgehogs in this week. One from Hailsham suffering from a fractured leg. Amazingly both back legs are fractures but one is an old fracture which has healed on its own. The other leg is being treated and was x-rays last week by Chris Hall from Henley House Vets in Uckfield. The second hedgehog has come in with an infection on his forehead and a damaged eye, he is now on antibiotics and we hope he will make a full recovery.

Thank you for coming along to the Eastbourne Bonfire Societies Easter Fair at the Redoubt Fortress on Eastbourne Seafront at the weekend and to those of you who attended Jessie’s Trust’s Fair at Alfriston too, it was good to meet you all.

Coming up we have our Easter Fair on 14th April between 9.30am and 2pm at Westham Village Hall, Peelings Lane, Westham, BN24 5HE. Free entry and we will be serving spring soup, pasta, Easter cakes, soft drinks, along with bric-a-brac stalls, fun games, an amazing tombola, a kids Easter decorating area, face painting along with lots of other treats and surprises plus fantastic Easter Bunny handing out prizes throughout the morning too.


East Sussex WRAS is a voluntary organisation which relies on donations, receiving no funding from government or the RSPCA. Anyone wishing to make a donation should contact the treasurer at PO Box 2148, Seaford, BN25 9DE.

24-hour rescue line 07815 078234