TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Pigeon found grounded in Lewes and sparrowhawk rescued from sports hall

Kathy and I rushed to the aid of a pigeon grounded at Newton Road, Lewes last weekend. He was underweight and suffering from sour crop and Coccidia. SUS-140921-160501001
Kathy and I rushed to the aid of a pigeon grounded at Newton Road, Lewes last weekend. He was underweight and suffering from sour crop and Coccidia. SUS-140921-160501001

Sadly one of the cygnets we rescued at Hampden Park passed away last week after staff at the Swan Sanctuary tried their best to save its life. Luckily the remaining cygnets seem to be doing well and recovering but are still on treatment.

Kathy and I rushed to the aid of a pigeon grounded at Newton Road, Lewes last weekend. He was underweight and suffering from sour crop and Coccidia. This seems to be a frequent problem with poorly pigeons found in this area of Lewes at the moment. Every late summer and autumn we get birds coming in with parasite and fungal problems, which are primarily thought to be as a result of either unhygienic bird tables and the warm and damp weather.

Another grass snake found caught up in netting on an allotment in Eastbourne.

Another grass snake found caught up in netting on an allotment in Eastbourne.

After having yet another road casualty Tawny Owl in care this week, we were please to get called to a different bird of prey. We’re all suffering stiff necks this week after spend numerous hours trying to catch a sparrowhawk which flew inside the main hall at Eastbourne Sports Park last week. The bird of prey is thought to have flown in whilst chasing a starling which was also inside the hall. As sparrowhawks like many other birds don’t like flying in the dark, the best way to catch them is to get them flying and plunge them into darkness, that way they normally flutter lower down and are more accessible as a result. In these large halls, we often have problems with trying to turn the lights out completely and also quickly enough for the bird not to land on a nearby perch and this hall was no exception. However working in the dark, using night vision goggles and a torch, the sparrowhawk actually landed on the top of the net head on the end of an extremely long pole, which we were then able to very slowly lower to the ground. Just as rescuer Chris was able to grab hold of the bird it tried to fly but flew straight into one of the sports nets where together Kathy and Chris managed to catch it although they both suffered from puncture marks to their hands as a result of the bird’s talons!

The feisty bird was taken back to WRAS’s centre for the night and taken back out to Eastbourne the following morning for release. You can see the video of the release on our You Tube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/wildlifeambulance.

Rescuer Tony rushed to the aid of two Brown Long Eared Bats at Hertsmonceux after they were found swimming in a bucket of cold water. The bats were dried and slowly warmed up and advice sought from Jenny Clark at the Sussex Bat Hospital. After a days’ worth of care the bats made a full recovery and, once dark, the bats were returned and released back to the wild with no permanent damage.

Don’t forget to book your tickets for our Indoor Nature Trail being held at East Dean Village Hall on the A259 just outside Eastbourne on Saturday 11th October from 11am till 5pm. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the amazing wildlife we have in East Sussex and what we can do to help our wildlife. There will be a number of wildlife and conservation organisations present as well as some activities as well as a line-up of speaking throughout the day talking about wildlife from large dolphin to small dormice! Tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for children and covers the cost of refreshments and some pasta based food available free of charge between 12noon and 2pm. Its is going to be a great event and everyone interested in animal welfare and wildlife conservation will find the day a real education. If you are an animal welfare students this is an idea event for you. To book tickets please call 01825-873003 or e-mail chris@eastsussexwras.org.uk.

We had another grass snake come in after being found caught up in netting on an allotment in Eastbourne. At first we thought the netting had cut into the skin but after carefully removing the netting using a scalpel blade the snake was found to have been extremely lucky. After 24 hours in care and monitoring of the ligature mark it was decided to release the snake back down by the Tutts Barn Allotments in Eastbourne were the snake was found. Please do not leave discarded netting lying around your garden or allotment to avoid creatures like this snake becoming caught up, many die as a result.

Finally a big thank you to Julie and Malcolm Redford for giving away their unwanted vegetables from their allotments for a donation to WRAS and raising £140 for us. Also thanks to The Royal, 8-9 Marine Parade, Eastbourne. Who have just sent us a donation of £402 raised from hotel bookings. They are a great “Pet Friendly” hotel as well as Eastbourne only Eco-friendly hotel too. Without such donations our charity would not exist, it’s not down to me, but all of your who donate via standing order or regularly send in donations to support our work – you are all the stars that keep this charity moving forward and helping more and more casualties each year.