IT HAS been a very interesting week at WRAS. It started with an unusual call to a Hawfinch at Etchingham which may have flown into a window.
Rescuer Tony Neads drove to collect the bird which was assessed by vet Chris and found to have a very slight crack in the tip of his beak and possibly had burst an air sack.
The bird has been placed in one of WRAS’s new bird cages with some natural foliage and suitable food.
Having never had one in before we were not sure what it would eat and provided it with larger than normal types of seed as well as fruit and a normal finch mix. We hope he will be released very soon.
WE HAD a call to some hedgehogs found out in a garden in Uckfield. The youngsters had been found on the grass and may have been picked up by the resident’s dog.
Mum also appeared so Kathy picked them all up and moved to the safety of WRAS’s large indoor enclosures.
We then received a call to say another baby had been found wandering by their shed. Rescuer Sue Archer went to retrieve it and called me in for help as the access was extremely difficult.
In the end we used a dog grasper and swan hook to gently bring the baby out. They have been reunited and are now in a large enclosure lined with turf to keep it as natural as possible for them.
WE HAD a call from Newhaven Harbour this week after a porpoise was spotted. We reported it to British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) and they sent a medic down to keep an eye on it and ensure it did not get into any trouble.
WE HAVE had problems this week with our phone lines at the rescue centre, causing us some problems. We have also had quite a lot of calls at times, one minute it’s really quiet and the next we are getting 10 calls in 15 minutes, many emergency ones.
Sadly with limited funds and resources we are not able to respond to every one but always try to respond to as much as possible as long as we have the volunteers, resources and funds available to do so.
WE HAVE had a couple of kestrels this week, the first rescued by Murrae after being found at the side of a road. It was a bit thin and very dazed and the blow must have been quite hard as it took several days before being able to stand properly.
Carer Sue Archer kindly took the bird home for regular feeding, little and often. She has done a great job and the bird is now looking much brighter and hopefully will be released very soon.
The other call was about a kestrel trapped inside a double-decker bus at Burgess Hill. When we arrived the bird was at the back of the bus looking very sorry for itself.
I was able to pick it up without much of a problem. The bird was rather pale so she was given some food and fluids and kept overnight before being released the following day back at Burgess Hill.
A PIPISTRELLE bat at Dallington was caught by a cat and had ripped its wing membrane. We rushed it to Jenny Clark at the Sussex Bat Hospital where it was found to be pregnant. Sadly the baby had died and Jenny had to help the poor mum deliver the dead baby.
Members of the Sussex Bat Group have been busy responding to numerous other calls this week about baby bats. It is important to find the roost so an attempt can be made to return baby to mum.
These very young bats are extremely difficult to hand rear - especially if they have not received enough of mum’s milk.
SUE, Kathy, Monica and Hannah, are still busy rearing young birds. Kathy’s pigeons are doing well, as is Hannah’s tawny owl, Monica’s baby hedgehogs and Sue’s wagtails, finches and starlings.
WE ALSO had a call to East Grinstead late at night to help a male roe deer escape from a garden. The deer had fallen from a wooded area and was unable to jump back up the retaining wall. Rescuers Murrae, Sue, Kathy and Trevor guided it deer back to safety.
He managed to escape but refused to take a short cut back to the woods and decided to charge Trevor out into a small park Luckily the roads there are quite wide with decent grass verges out to the countryside.
We also had a call from RSPCA Mallydams asking if we could take on a baby fallow deer .
It had been a road casualty seven days previous and a member of the public had been looking after her before handing her over
We picked up ‘Doris’ and took her to Chris and Sylvia so she could meet ‘Dottie’ (last week’s baby fallow deer found caught in fencing at Rotherfield).
She has a wound to her head and several scabs but otherwise is not badly injured at all.
Chris and Sylvia have had a few sleepless nights looking after them, but they are looking good. It’s too early to tell how they will do long term.
Those who follow my column will know Button and Billie the fallow deer found as babies saved by WRAS and now living semi wild.
Both have disappeared over the past week, and we are sure they are pregnant and have gone off to give birth!
We await the first signs of them bringing their young back home!
WE ARE looking to take on additional veterinary support by employing a veterinary surgeon part time. We currently have two vets which work when available but due to an increase in the number of casualties now being dealt with the charity is looking for another vet to provide additional support.
Sadly we can’t afford to employ a vet full time so are looking for another vet willing to help with one or two evenings a week, sparing one or two hours at a time depending on demand.
WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre is registered as a veterinary premises with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. We need a vet interested in wildlife, who is not species selective when it comes round to treatment. The hours are flexible and will vary.
Anyone interested should contact me on 01825 873003 to arrange an informal interview.
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. Visit: www.wildlifeambulance.org