TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Stranded porpoise causes stir at Pevensey Bay beach

Trevor weeks
Trevor weeks

This week has been a week of fledglings. Call after call has come in about fledgling birds down on the ground.

Please remember when birds fledge rarely can they fly straight away. Most birds will have to spend time down on the ground building up their wing strength before they can fly. They should be left alone, or if in harms way, moved higher up onto a bush, hedge, tree or similar where they are less vulnerable to predators.

Their best chance of long term survival is to stay with their parents. We are also getting loads of calls about baby gulls too. From just a couple of days old these young grey bundles of fluff start walking round roof tops, and end up falling to the ground. If you find one you should place it back up on the roof. Sadly WRAS does not have facilities to take in baby gulls, as we are only in year three of five of the development of our Casualty Care Centre and we don’t have the money to set up these facilities yet.

I must say a big thank you to the staff at Extreme Powered Platforms on Diplocks Industrial Estate in Hailsham. They called WRAS out to a nest of Great Tits. They were inside the control panel of one of their aerial platforms. While not in use, the family of Great Tits had built a lovely nest inside the control panel entering via a circular hole in the side where the power cable enters. The birds were quite advanced and not too far off fledging. The machine was moved and cleaned using a jet wash, before the staff realised there was a nest present. When they discovered the nest, they backed off and called WRAS. Extreme Powered Platforms kindly agreed to leave the machine alone for two weeks to give the birds time to fledge and leave of their own accord. Despite the platform being moved the parent birds continued to visit and feed their young.

An amazing night at our Unusual Quiz at East Dean last weekend. We took just under an incredible £760. Many thanks to everyone who attended. Congratulations to the winning team who included Sarah from Folly Wildlife Rescue. Many thanks to Brian who did all the food, Monica who did the door and helped Brian in the kitchen and to Kate and Lisa for running the bar, thank you also to everyone who stayed on to help clear up afterwards.

The 3-cat attacked baby robins we had in several weeks ago are now in the outdoor aviary at Yvonne’s, as are the first of our hand-reared blackbirds and the 2 mistle thrushes. We have also released 6 of our hand-reared feral pigeons, 5 wood pigeons & a dove.

We had an emergency call about a live stranded porpoise or dolphin on the beach at Pevensey Bay on Sunday. Medic Chris was the first on site and found a young adult harbour porpoise, being thrashed around in the surf. Chris moved the porpoise up the beach and waited for help to arrive. The porpoise was making rasping noises as it was breathing. It is thought that, as the creature was so weak, it may have breathed in water as a result of being placed back into the sea by well-meaning locals. When cetaceans – porpoises, dolphins and whales – strand they frequently do so because they are either sick, injured or orphaned. If you find such a creature on the beach please remember they are not fish but mammals and should not be held underwater. Do not attempt to put them back into the water. Hold them upright, cover with a wet sheet, and keep wet. Dig out the sand around their pectoral flippers so they point down as this will also make them more comfortable. Then phone British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825-765546 or WRAS on 07815-078234.