TREVOR WEEKS: A week of all creatures great and small
Its certainly been a week of all creatures great and small. We have had our first gull chicks of the season which is now being looked after by Bird Aid at Hailsham.
Rescuer Daryl Farmer and I returned a gull chick to its parents in Langney on Tuesday night too. There aren’t enough places which will take in young gulls so where possible they need returning to the roof from where they came from.
There has been a lot of comments from various groups including the Wildlife Trust in local media mentioning leaving baby birds alone. It is not surprising that so many people are confused as to whether they should touch a young bird or not and its frustrating when people or organisations who are not specialist in animal welfare start commenting on what people should or shouldn’t do.
If you find a baby bird it should definitely not be left for its parents to look after it. It is only fledgling birds – those which are very close to flying - which should be left, which are those fully feathered, no bald patches and not covered in fluff. Birds can’t come down and collect their young they are unable to pick them up and move them. If in doubt please phone a wildlife rescue organisations and not a conservation organisation for advice.
We have had yet more cruelty issues to deal with this week. We have a pigeon shot in Uckfield after a cull took place on private land, which we believe has been an offence and breach of the general licence conditions as well as a breach of animal welfare laws in the pigeon not being kills and left to suffer for three days before being found.
We have also had a squirrel with a serious head injury after some young people threw a bottle which hit the squirrel in the head in Luxford Field, Uckfield.
A lady in Hailsham is now frightened to go near her windows or in her garden as a result of someone who as shot four gulls on her roof and garden in the past month too.
We have a Peregrine Falcon in care with a broken wing at the moment. In the process of x-raying the bird to assess its injuries we discovered it had also been shot and had pellets from a short gun embedded in its body. All these incidents and others have been reported to Sussex Police who are now investigating.
We have also had a hobby admitted after being found in a field in Barcombe. The beautify bird has a fractured leg and on Tuesday night rescuers Chris and Laura drove the bird across to Vale Wildlife Rescue in Gloucestershire for their specialist vet to operate on.
We have been out to yet more birds caught in netting in Uckfield High Street. Including a racing pigeon which became trapped in netting on the roof of Uckfield Library.
The bird which had been released in France last weekend was on its way back to Wiltshire but became entangled in the netting. We are getting a bit sick and tired of the same stupid comments about how we should be shooting them.
Chris and I rushed down to Golden Jubilee Way near Eastbourne on Monday after a swan crashed on the roadside.
When we arrived Sussex Police had one lane closed and were guarding the swan. Chris and I surrounded the swan and as it tried to run and fly off I was able to tackle the swan and secure it, but not without the swan hitting me in the face with its wing.
The swan had a couple of leeches in it eye which we managed to remove with a salt water solution before releasing the swan at Shinewater Lake.
We are getting a lot of calls about the swans at Princes Park being in the outlet stream. Swans like going into this section of river due to the algae and food available there. However, this is tidal so when the water level drops they are not always able to get back to the main lake. This is only a short term problem for them and they quickly cross back over once the tide levels return.
They may swim back and forth but this is them just a little confused and not distress or in discomfort. We are also monitoring the swans at Hampden Park now they have had their cygnets too.
Rescuer Kathy has spent two days trying to find and catch a gosling in trouble at the Sussex Horse Rescue Trust in Uckfield having been spotted covered in blood. Not accepted by any of the broods there, he kept disappearing or was spooked before she got there despite being just minutes away. She tried numerous times even going out in the pouring rain and walking right round the pond. Then after hearing a tiny squeaking she managed to find him stuck on his back in a puddle unable to get up. She drove him home inside her jacket to keep warm. His head was a mess but after some cleaning up he looked so much better and is on the mend.