TREVOR WEEKS: Duck walkabout causes a flap

Rescuers Fiona Palmer and Chris Riddington had a very difficult rescue on Monday evening in Claremont Road, Seaford.

Saturday, 15th July 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:59 am
Trevor's Week - ducklings go on walkabout in Seaford SUS-170713-090650001

Three floors up a gull had got caught in some poorly maintained netting. The tenant with her children were very upset seeing the gull in so much distress that they called WRAS. Rescuers spent more than an hour using a large long handled hedge cutting tool and scissors to free the gull enough to be able to pull it through the window. Once secured, Fiona and Chris continued to cut the netting away from the bird. The bird is now recovering at our hospital with only minor wounds and ruffled feathers so we hope he will be released soon.

Tuesday afternoon saw us called to mum and five ducklings in Seaford. We had our work cut out as she decided to walk just over a mile through Seaford streets. We were called to the junction of Princess Drive and Beacon Drive in Seaford at about 1:30pm. On arrival the mum and ducklings were wandering south along Beacon Drive. We were unsure where she may be trying to get to but suspected they may be heading for either a pond off Surrey Road near the railway line or Blatchington Pond off Sutton Drove. We were worried that if we caught and relocated her we could easily get the location wrong and move mum and ducklings to the wrong pond causing them to wander off once rescuers had left the scene. This could potentially cause an accident if not spotted. Alternatively mum might fly off and abandon her babies if an attempt at capture failed.

These rescues are always difficult and trying to balance the disturbance to humans and the welfare of the mum and ducklings is difficult. She knows where she want to go we just need to get her there safely. It is common for ducks to nest in gardens and walk their young to ponds once they are several days old, as gardens are generally safer places to nest than at ponds and river.

We decided that we would let her walk along the roads and keep her safe, we are sorry for any delay she may have caused anyone, but the general reaction of everyone was very positive. The route which took about an hour to walk took the mum and ducklings from Princess Drive, onto Beacon Drive, then into Kingsmead, onto Belgrave Road, and down Blatchington Hill and across the grass into Blatchington Pond off Sutton Drove. Two veterinary ambulances were used to help keep rescuers and ducks safe. We would really like to thank everyone for being so patient and caring today. There were so many smiling faces from motorists who very kindly slowed down and passed us carefully, helping us to get her to the safety of the pond.

WRAS care team have dealt with a very difficult case on Sunday afternoon after one of our supporters brought in aniInjured gull with a hook stuck in it’s beak. WRAS casualty managers Katie and Chris and care assistant Hannah were not expecting to be greeted with a gull suffering from five barb hooks stuck in it’s beak and foot. The poor bird had clearly not eaten in a while and was also quite underweight and dehydrated. Katie and Hannah held the gull in place to enable Chris to use bolt cutters to cut each barb off and gently remove the lure. Once it was all removed, the holes were flushed with saline. The gull was then fed and given a bath, which he was extremely grateful for. He is now enjoying a bowl of fish and we hope he will make a full recovery.

You may remember Stig the pigeon which was found tied up in a black bin bag in Eastbourne and left for dead. Well Stig has made a remarkable recovery, but unfortunately not well enough to be released back to the wild. Being quite mature he has now been given a new home in Surrey with our friends Lisa and Ray who will be looking after him in their pigeon lofts where he will be allowed to live out the rest of his days is comfort.

We have had yet another shot gull this time from Woburn Way in Eastbourne with two air gun pellets lodged in its chest. This has really got to stop but nobody seems interested in doing anything to stop this cruelty.

If you find yourself driving along the Broyle near the Raystede Centre at Ringmer, please keep an eye out for a possibly injured Buzzard. We believe it may have been hit by a car but when we arrived it could not be found. So if anyone sees one and it shows signs of being injured please give us a call.

It has been another incredibly week for night time rescues and our care teams.

In one evening rescuers Brian and Sally managed to get three birds back into the wild, taken gulls to Bird Aid, rescued an road casualty gull in Eastbourne and two injured blackbirds. R