TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Good summer weather has been kind to wildlife this year

We are starting our next vaccination site next week, it is a much larger farm and we are dealing with a large main sett and 4 smaller setts.

We are starting our next vaccination site next week, it is a much larger farm and we are dealing with a large main sett and 4 smaller setts.

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This summer has been what I would class as a classic British summer.

Unlike the start of the year our summer has not seen any extremes in weather conditions and, as a result, our wildlife has had a much easier summer.

We have been treating a large number of pigeons lately caught by birds of prey.

We have been treating a large number of pigeons lately caught by birds of prey.

We are seeing less illness in wildlife compared to the previous few years. We are still getting some, but thye are primarily things like a few minor botulism cases which we get every year as a result of polluted stagnant water. Primarily it is gulls which come in with Botulism, but we do get other waterfowl too.

Rescuers collected a duck from Princess Park in Eastbourne a week ago reported as being attacked by other birds. A member of the public pulled it out of the water and called us. The poor bird was clearly waterlogged and very cold. When he first arrived he couldn’t stand, couldn’t lift his head off the floor, had no movement in his legs, and was very dehydrated. The vets were certain it was early stages of botulism. With fluid therapy on a daily basis, he has done very well and is now up and about. We gave him a large bath to splash about in and have a good preen. There is a video on our facebook page www.facebook.com/wildlifeambulance.

We have seen an increase in pigeons and doves being caught by birds of prey recently. This is perfectly natural, and they are meat eaters, so we shouldn’t begrudge them their food.

We often find people rush out into their garden and stop the sparrowhawk or other bird in the middle of having its meal. It’s not nice to watch but it is nature and by stepping in it means the birds of prey suffers as a result, by going hungry. We are treating a few at the moment and hopefully they will make a recovery.

We have also had a few more hedgehogs this week. We had a call about three new born hedgehogs at Stone Cross. They were in the middle of a lawn, pink, no spines or fur, eyes closed and very cold. At this stage of development they should be in a nest and certainly wouldn’t have been able to crawl there by themselves so we suspect the nest was probably raided by a predator.

Kathy is very proud of the eldest of her two calcium deficient baby wood pigeons, he came in a couple of weeks ago, sat on his bottom, legs stretched out in front of him unable to weight bear at all and had a large wound on his rear as well.

With lots of cleaning, physio and feeding, he is now a very happy chap and is starting to stand and will soon go into a larger space once he has a bit more balance. Every time he is fed he is standing better, but tires easily, but will improve day by day.

We have published a compilation of clips from the vaccination work which has taken place over the past few weeks, to trap and vaccinate the first badgers in East Sussex on land owned by the Sussex Horse Rescue Trust at Uckfield. You can view it and the release of the badgers on our You Tube Channel at http://youtu.be/Ic9sIgXSPy8.

We vaccinated a total of seven badgers on this site which is roughly what we expected. We are starting our next vaccination site next week, it is a much larger farm and we are dealing with a large main sett and 4 smaller setts.

Our last batch of ducklings have just been released, three of our hand reared baby hedgehogs have been moved to their soft release sites; four of our hand reared Collared Doves and three hand reared Wood Pigeons are all going out to release sites too.

Rescuers have been out to yet more road casualty gulls this week. We have been called out to several in the B&Q, Hampden Park area of Eastbourne. These young birds are very naive to roads and traffic so please be on extra alert if you see one on the roadside as you are driving.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Alfriston village fair, our volunteer Lucy took over £400 over two days. Don’t forget our Bingo Night at Hailsham Civic Community Hall in the Town Centre in aid of WRAS on Saturday 6th September.

Games start at 7pm, and there will be a bar and snacks available. Boards are just £1 each. It should be a really good evening.