Trevor’s Week - January 12, 2011

ROBIN the Tawny Owl has finally been released this week. He came in when we had the first snow before Christmas but he was slow to respond to treatment.

Every time we have gone to release him something has got in the way, either a rescue, heavy rain, snow or gales but Robin has finally been released and is back in the wild.

JANUARY is typically a month for emaciated animals coming into care. This week has seen several pigeons come in very thin indeed.

One has a major wound to its body, which is responding well to treatment. Another has early signs of canker and this should be easily treated.

Another is just young and thin, clearly struggling to find food at this time of year when food is short.

We have had a very dark coloured female pheasant come into care this week as a road casualty. Luckily she was not badly injured and certainly doing well so we hope to have her released early this week, also more of our hedgehogs are being moved to our outside pens.

ON JANUARY 27 we are holding a quiz night at the Berwick Inn, next to Berwick Railway Station.

It starts at 7.30pm and entry is £5 for up to five people. The night is in aid of WRAS and it should be a good evening, so please come along.

TODAY (Wednesday) is Michael Lamb’s funeral at St Thomas of Canterbury R.C. Church, Magdalen Road, St Leonards, at 12.30pm. Myself and some colleagues will attend to show our respects to a great animal lover who cared deeply for animals.

Michael will be remembered as a well-respected volunteer who would turn his hand to anything in order to help an animal in distress.

One of the last rescues he attended last November was a badger caught in an iron gate at Hastings working with the local Fire Service.

East Sussex WRAS volunteers will be making donations to the Dr Hadwen Trust to help research cancer treatment in Michael’s memory.

http://www.drhadwentrust.org.

I WAS interviewed on BBC Radio Sussex in response to a West Sussex council getting a court order to access a property to clear away what the owner is calling a wildlife garden as there is apparently a mice and rat problem as a result causing neighbours to complain.

I pointed out a wildlife garden on its own would not be the cause of this over population. Most people will have rats and mice visiting their gardens, that’s a fact of life, but they will go unnoticed.

Mice and rats need two basic things - somewhere to sleep and something to eat - bushes, shrubs and brambles would not provide enough for an over-population.

In order for the population to have increased to the point of being a problem there has to be either rubbish, debris and food provided either in this garden or by the neighbours in their apparently neat and tidy gardens. Even badly constructed or inappropriate compost heaps in neat and tidy gardens can be the cause. If the food source is tackled them the numbers will reduce to a normal level as you will never get rid of them completely.

Wildlife gardening is a more sustainable and balanced way of looking after wildlife and better than bird feeders and bird tables which are frequently unhygienic and can cause rat and mice problems even in very neat and tidy gardens.

Wildlife gardens are great for encouraging wildlife in manageable levels into our towns and cities and provide much beauty, tranquillity, satisfaction and are an educational benefit.

WE ARE having several calls (including via Sussex Police) about screaming animals at this time of year. This is mainly foxes in the process of mating still. Females will attract mates by calling, foxes will also call when disputing territories and food sources with each other. This sound can be mistaken for animals in pain. We also had a call this week about two foxes which seemed to be stuck together rear to rear, this is actually foxes mating.

After going about their business the male dismounts but stays attached to the female, but they normally separate given a few minutes.

It is advisable not to disturb them.