TREVOR WEEKS: Our first baby robin, and a bundle of fox cubs come into care
Spring is definitely here and as a result, we are starting to get our youngsters coming into care. We had our first young robin of the season this week. It was found in Uckfield after being caught by a cat.
Birds are certainly nesting now. Not many people know that under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is an offence to intentionally damage or destroy a wild bird’s nest while it is being built or in use. That includes consciously using a hedge trimmer when there is a bird’s nest in your hedge, and in the process of doing so, causing the nest to be damaged or destroyed. For this reason, bird conservation organisations such as the RSPB recommend that you do not use hedge trimmers between March and August when the main breeding season for nesting birds occurs. Outside of these months, you should still perform checks on your hedges to make sure there are no birds or other wildlife living in them before you begin cutting. We have had a lot of young mammals this week. A young rabbit has come in after being found out in the open near Buxted. After being given some fluids at WRAS’s Casualty Centre he was taken up to our friends at Folly Wildlife Rescue for further care as our rabbit expert didn’t have space at the time. We have also had five tiny mice rescued from Holmewood Close Eastbourne after their nest was disturbed during gardening work. They are now being hand-reared on a milk replacement formula, which they have taken to very well.
We have also had fox cubs in this week too. We have had one in for the past few weeks, but his health has not been good. He was handed into Eastbourne Vets but his behaviour was not right and had an infected puncture wound on the side of his head which needed treating. He was soon joined by a cub found in the middle of the A22 near East Grinstead.
At the weekend we had six cubs come to us from Newhaven after being found wandering and calling not far from McDonald’s on the industrial park. They were checked over but found to be in poor health and clearly abandoned so are now being handed reared. Another cub was found on Saturday barking at a door in Newhaven. The cub was in good condition so Saturday rescuers Andrew, Charlotte and Hannah sat up and watched and waited to see if mum would come back and collect her youngster. Being a Saturday night the road was very busy and although mum was clearly interested she wouldn’t come close enough to collect her baby. On Sunday we decided to try again. It was quieter, but this time the cub was much more lively and would not sit still in the release container and kept climbing out. As a result, we took the risky decision to let him wander in the garden and keep a watch from a distance. He started barking at a gateway, and not long after mum appeared picked him up and jump over the fence and away, rescuers as they left the garden watch mum and cub walking off along the pavement together. Another cub was also picked up in Eastbourne after bein found wandering around in a garden. After a check over the cub was just slightly dehydrated but fit and well. Chris went down to investigate and heard the sound of fox cubs from close by and manage to find a den. So the little cub was placed on the floor and wandered off back home and into the den to with his family. Rescuer Chris and I were called to a house in Moor Lane, Ringmer after reports of an owl trapped in an old converted barn. Chris and I used large extendable net poles to catch the feisty tawny owl which started flying back and forth. After a quick check over and seeing the owl was fit and healthy we were able to release him straight away outside to fly off. Last week’s tawny owl from Sandhurst has made a great recovery and on Monday night we were able to return him back to Iden Street in Kent where he had come from, to fly off back to the wild. You can see the video of these two owls on our facebook pages www.facebook.com/wildlifeambulance.
We were called out to Uckfield High Street last week after two pigeons were found entangled in the netting above one of the shops. Using the ladders from our ambulance both birds were cut free and brought back to our Casualty Centre for assessment. One of them turned out to be very mature and quite friendly flying onto my arm and then proceeded to climb up onto my shoulder. After a few days rest they were released again.
A stunning little bat was rescued after being found on the Cuckoo trail near Horsebridge. Picked up by a dog it seems to get off lightly. Dehydrated and in a bit of shock, centre manager Chris was able to warm him gently and giving fluids via a pipette. Once warmed up he was transported to Jenny Clark MBE at the bat hospital in Forest Row.