Baby wood pigeon rescued during training trip to Oxfordshire

Chris and I were up in Oxfordshire las week and completed a Radiation Protection Supervisor course at the Public Health England training centre near Chilton

Thursday, 20th October 2016, 6:49 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:05 am
Chris with the rescued pigeon
Chris with the rescued pigeon

Chris and I have been up in Oxfordshire this week and completed a Radiation Protection Supervisor course at the Public Health England training centre near Chilton. Just as we were leaving Chris spotted something sitting under a tree looking sorry for itself. I swung the car round and we both grabbed nets to pick up a gorgeous young nestling wood pigeon. Too small to be out of the nest and looking a bit confused, so now it care at WRAS.

Autumn is definitely here, the weather is colder, the autumn colour have finally started to appear. Animals like hedgehogs are starting to think about hibernation and should in the process of sorting out places to hibernate if they haven’t built them already. We need your help to get the message out there about hedgehogs which are too small to hibernate. Studies have shown that hedgehogs weighing 600grams or more have a much higher chance of survival and come out of hibernation is a healthier condition than those which are under. The weather is still fairly mild at the moment, and once frosts start hedgehogs under 500grams will definitely need to be picked up and taken into care. If it stays fairly mild we would advise leaving hedgehog between 500-600grams and just feed them up to help them put on weight as we run into winter. If you see anyone posting on social media please help get the message out and encourage them to seek help.

Every year we see dozens of hedgehog coming into care where people have also thought underweight hedgehogs are just in need of feeding up in a hutch or cage. Frequently hedgehogs are underweight for a reason and unfortunately there are numerous reasons, many of which are not easy to establish and certainly not just by a visual inspection. Sadly last winter we had over 14 hedgehogs which came into care on deaths door where people have not sort help for underweight hedgehogs of which very few survived. So please get them to someone who knows what they are doing.

The cost of looking after all these casualties is huge and we need as much support as possible. You could help us win £100 by signing up for East Sussex WRAS's Weather Lottery! If we are able to sign up 10 new members during October we will be donated £100 by the Weather Lottery. All you need to do is go to our website and read more and sign up! By playing the lottery you help raise money for WRAS at the same time have a chance of winning loads of money too!

My colleague Chris Riddington and I took part in the beating the bounds of Lewes at the weekend. The 11 mile walk round the edge of Lewes was a great days walk and thank you to Lewes Town Council for organising the refreshments and food. Thank you to Lewes Mayor Councillor Dr Graham Mayhew for inviting us to take part and for choosing WRAS as one of his chosen charities. The weather was better than expected throughout the day except for the very final section where it poured down and we got absolutely soaked. Thank you to for those who have sponsored us via our Justgiving page which has raised over £200.

We were only able to take part in this event thanks to Casualty Managers Katie Nunn Nash and Kathy Martyn helping at the centre along with rescuers Karen Francis, Liz White and Tony Neads for helping to cover the rescues. Our vet Mike also came into the centre to under taken suturing on three casualties too. Katie did an amazing job admitting 2 herring gulls, 7 pigeons a swan and a tawny owl. The swan which was admitted was rescued in Lewes after being found walking around the industrial estate, the finders managed to get him out of the road and keep him safely in their garden until rescuers could arrive. A nasty bleed on the swan foot had to be treated and the swan was then bedded down in one of WRAS’s indoor enclosures. She also had a Tawny Owl came into care from Hartfield after flying into electric fence.

One of the poor gulls which was rescued by Karen with the help from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, after being spotted hanging from an aerial in Bedfordwell Road, Eastbourne by fishing line, was found to have a huge fishing hook embedded in its tongue. He had what looked like insulation fibers wrapped round his legs too. The care team managed to remove the hook from his tongue and fibres from his legs, give him first aid and it wasn’t long before he was tucking in to his dinner.

Other calls this week have included a road casualty badger found by off duty rescuers Andrew and Charlotte near Friston. Rescuer Tony Neads rushed to the scene and delivered the badger to Trevor and Kathy at the Casualty Centre where it was examined given first aid and bedded down. Sadly the poor creature passed away the following day.

An ambulance also rushed to the aid of a swan on Lottbridge Drove Eastbourne. In just 20 minutes WRAS received over 15 calls from passing motorists, so nice to see so many people cared and called. Tony was on scene quickly and the swan admitted for care. Luckily no seriously injured and released a few days later.