TREVOR WEEKS: An array of birds keep rescuers on their toes

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Young Ben Sherlock and his mum Carmen joined the WRAS team last week helping with the feed and clean shift, taking a bat up to Jenny at the Bat Hospital in Forest Row and helping Chris and I catch a trapped swallow inside Punnets Town village hall. Ben raised money towards to our new ambulance by doing an incredible amount of fundraising.

Rescuers have dealt with numerous calls this week. These have included a road casualty fox in Carew Road Eastbourne on Saturday morning. The call was received from Sussex Police but despite rescuer Chris arriving on site within 15 minutes the poor creature had already passed away.

We have had a few calls about a limping swan at Princes Park, we have been down a few times to check but been unable to find one limping. We know there are some elderly swans at the park and at least one with a touch of arthritis who is a little unsteady on his feet, but not serious enough to bring into care.

Friday night I rushed to a feral pigeon grounded outside Eastbourne Railway Station. We don’t currently have any room for more adults and went out expecting it to be a youngster which Kathy till has space for. The poorly bird was sat on the pavement by the post box. It made no attempt to fly off when I caught it with my hands. It appeared rather stunned and I think it might have flown into something. I was then called to an adult hedgehog picked up by a dog on the Lamport Estate in Lewes. The hedgehog seems fine, uninjured and wanted to go free possibly because she seems to be a nursing mum with enlarged teats which have clearly been suckled. So after being checked over to ensure no other problems, she was released back outside. I finally got home about 1.30am.

Luckily Chris and I have not had quite so many night time call outs over the past couple of weeks, but we are still out most nights till gone midnight.

Thursday and Friday were quite busy days. Rescuers rushed to a gull (possible road casualty) with an injured wing in Eastbourne. Rescuers Wren and Abbie attended. The gull’s wing was possibly fractured and with the amount of bleeding they took the bird straight to the nearest vets. They also went to a pigeon trapped in a chimney at The Crescent Eastbourne. They were able to get to the pigeon and bring it into care as it was underweight and sooty. They then went to a pigeon inside a house, hiding behind a TV in Park Field Avenue, Hampden Park. The bird had a small crop tear and sutures needed on its chest.

St Annes Vets asked us to take on a baby hedgehog last week, found out during the day and only weighing 96 grams. Volunteer Victoria collected quickly and delivered to WRAS’s Orphan Team, where Katie is now hand rearing.

Rescuer Tony has been out to an injured swan with a dropped wing in fields behind Lynholm Road, Polegate. The swan was caught and due to the wing damage was taken up to the Swan Sanctuary.

Rescuer Keith attended to a catted small bird in Orchard Way, Burgess Hill, plus two catted baby pigeons in Gibbon Road, Newhaven. The two pigeons have been taken to Kathy to hand rear.

Tony attended an injured pigeon in Glynleigh Drive, Polegate, but as he arrived the bird flew off.

Rescuers Kai and Gemma had a busy rescue shift last week they went to reports of a pigeon which flew inside Morrisons, Seaford. The pigeon has a damaged leg but luckily not seriously injured, and now in care being treated. They rushed out to reports of a wood pigeon on A27 at Firle. An adult wood pigeon was grazing on the verge but was okay. They then collected a poorly crow from a lady in Dillingbrough Road. Eastbourne which was badly emaciated. A gull fell between two fences in Eastbourne suffering an injured wing. The bird has been taken on by Bird Aid.

I also rushed across to Bexhill Wildlife Rescue after they rescued a bat which they were unable to transport it to the Bat Hospital in Hastings. The Soprano Pippistrelle was delivered safely. I then had to drive across to Harfield Close, Denton to rescue an injured sparrowhawk. It had hit a window in morning and was unable to fly by the evening so they called out WRAS.