Trevor’s Week - October 12, 2011: Ticks are a very serious problem for birds

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THERE is still time to book tickets for our Fun Sensory quiz night and meal to raise funds at Berwick Village Hall on October 22.

Tickets, £10 per person, include free food and free entry to the quiz. The winning team gets a silver bracelet, wine/beer and a luxury two-night stay in a tipi courtesy of Big Sky Tipi. Further details on 01825 873003 and tickets are also available at Checkers Barbers, 44 Seaside Eastbourne.

HAND-REARED feral pigeons Kojak, Frank, Starsky & Hutch and Cagney & Lacey were released last week in Eastbourne by WRAS volunteers Carrie & Kate. Ewok the second baby tawny owl reared by WRAS volunteer Hannah was also released last weekend too.

Also set free was Henry Winkler the baby hedgehog found in Lewes near where one was found hit on the road a week before which sadly died.

Carrie’s first hand-reared pigeons Enrique and Chad are now in the pre-release aviary.

We still have some of our released juvenile woodies visiting but now in the aviary are three more reared by Kate – Batman, Rick Astley and Lionel Ritchie.

I HAD a rather surreal conversation over the phone talking about shags and boobies, as well as gannets and cormorants, I’m so glad nobody could hear just my side of the conversation!

A lady called because she witnessed a bird looking like an American bird called a boobie which landed on a man swimming off Birling Gap. I came to the conclusion it was probably a juvenile cormorant or a shag which landed on the swimmer by mistake.

A YOUNG swan rescued at the side of the A259 between Eastbourne and Pevensey Bay came in for a check-up but was absolutely fine and released at Princes Park.

WRAS’s Ambulance also rushed to the aid of a swan which had flown into a roof of a house in Priory Road, Eastbourne. The bird hit the roof, slid down and fell to the floor. The bird’s chest was bruised but ok and it was released after a few days’ rest.

WE HAVE also taken on a poorly little cat-attacked dove and a hedgehog from St Anne’s vets.

Two baby hedgehogs weighing 76g and 78g have also been picked up from Chase Vets too.

RESCUERS have been to several calls about owls down in roads. Not a single one was found but when dusk starts to fall earlier and earlier owls start hunting on grass verges at the same time as the evening commute home.

WE HAD a late night call to a duck at an electricity sub station on the side of the busy Tunbridge Wells railway line. It is outside of our area but no other organisation was able to attend. The duck found on the ground unable to fly had a minor wound on its wing but nothing serious.

We at first wondered if the bird had been electrocuted but after 48 hours it was fine and released.

PLUMBERS started work this week on in the new kitchen area, washing machine, shower and pool at our Casualty Centre! We hope with the newly available space we will be able to raise funds for X-ray equipment and an operating area too.

AT THE weekend we were called out by staff at Newhaven Fort, after a Sparrowhawk flew into one of the Guard Rooms. Staff had to shut the display until rescuers arrived. The bird kept flying back and forth and was not easy to catch but eventually we managed it and, as it was light outside, the bird was released straight away and flew off giving an excellent flying display. You can see this rescue and at our You Tube Channel at

WE HAVE a number of new young pigeons and doves in care. Kate is looking after one dove who had a tick on his head.

Ticks in birds are very serious and can cause internal bleeding and head tremor, among other things, and is often fatal. She is doing a great job with him and he is now perching and starting to take seed.

She also has a poorly juvenile woody who cannot stand at the moment due to poor nutrition. Hopefully in a week or so we will see an improvement.

CARRIE has a new three-week-old wood pigeon in for rearing and Kathy has two more three-week-old woodies and a two-and-a-half week old woody.

WE WERE very pleased this week to finally be able to catch a very poorly juvenile collared dove in Uckfield. The householder first noticed he was ill four weeks ago, but he was still flying.

She was supportive feeding him and trying to gain his confidence but each time we visited he was able to fly off.

Finally after two visits on Friday Kathy was able to catch ‘Popcorn’ as he has now been named, and as suspected he had very severe canker. Amazingly he seems to be improving and we are able to feed and get medication into him so we are hopeful he may make it, but it is early days yet.


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