TREVOR WEEKS: Our first swift casualty for years

WRAS volunteers and staff had a very busy Saturday to deal, with whilst Kathy and I were up early and spent 13 hours preparing and attending the Uckfield Weald in the Field events.

Saturday, 12th August 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:07 am
Swift about to be released by Katie SUS-170908-133942001

WRAS’s staff and volunteers had an incredibly busy day. Calls started at 6am in the morning and a wide range of species were dealt with.

First admissions were a gull suffering from a head trauma and blindness in one eye, a young mouse and young feral pigeon from Bexhill Wildlife Rescue. Then rescuers dealt with an injured seal pup on Eastbourne beach.

Meanwhile an injured rabbit with a broken leg and a frog were delivered.

Rescuer Karen was busy dealing with our first bat of the day, a brown long eared, a gull at Cuckmere Haven and a badly injured blackbird.

Karen then dealt with a collared dove with a nasty crop tear, an injured greenfinch and a woodpigeon with a small wound on its back. Whilst rescuer Tony rushed the injured seal to RSPCA Mallydams, Chris took the first bat to Jenny Clark at the bat hospital at Forest Row.

Chris and Katie then rushed to a dog attacked deer in Lower Dicker which in the thunder and lightning evaded capture.

Karen then dealt with our second bat of the day and another gull. Karen then took the second bat to Jenny.

Tony dealt with our third bat of the day, a badly injured pigeon, a young rabbit and a maggot infested hedgehog.

Andrew and Charlotte then dealt with the admission of an emaciated buzzard from Wartling.

So in total we deal with a common seal, two feral pigeons, two wood pigeons, one frog, one blackbird, three bats, one collared dove, one deer, one buzzard, one hedgehog, two gulls, two rabbits, one mouse, and one greenfinch.

Our staff and volunteers have been amazing this summer, so please continue to support them and thank them on social media for all that they do.

Thanks to John Lewis’s Maresfield distribution depot we are running a summer raffle to win a brand new three burner gas barbecue worth £230!

Tickets are just £1 each and proceeds go to East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service! Just go to

Rescuers rushed out to an injured gull at Springfield Close, Westham, last week in a critical condition. Sadly the bird had to be rushed to the vets to be put down due to the severity of its condition. Shockingly again we find it has been badly injured as a result of a catapult.

Back on July 24 a swift was rescued in Seaford. He was very underweight and dehydrated. He was rushed to one of carers that night to gently give fluids. The following day it joined our other swift at our hospital where our orphan team have been looking after it since.

This is the first time that WRAS have taken on swifts for a long time due to how specialist they are. Our care team have done a lot of research in to how to rear them and have sought help for other rescue organisations, including Wildlife Aid Foundation, Folly Wildlife and swift expert Gillian Westray.

Our care team have had to wear special cotton gloves to prevent damage to their feathers. Their diet was carefully researched and the right mixture made to make sure they were as strong as possible.

Sadly one of our swifts was found to have an issue with flying and we made the decision to seek advice and to give him the best chance we transferred him to Wildlife Aid Foundation along with a hatchling we had recently admitted.

Last weekend, after seeking weather advice from pilot and WRAS supporter Graham Mountford, orphan team leader Katie Nunn Nash joined casualty manager Chris Riddington in taking our remaining swift to the Malling Down Nature Reserve in Lewes.

Katie gently held the swift in her hand and allowed it sit on her palm before the swift was ready to go. The youngster shot out of her hand into the air and off on his travels!

A big thank you to Jim Gibson who helped Chris rescue an injured seal at the weekend. In some brilliant team work Jim swan out to sea and approached the seal which was on the tide line helping to draw it away from the water. This allowed Chris to approach and net the seal.

The poor creature had several injuries to his face and body which needed treating. The young seal was then rushed to RSPCA Mallydams at Hastings for treatment and care.