TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Vets save wounded buzzard with emergency medication

Injured buzzard found in Halland
Injured buzzard found in Halland
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Rescuers have been out to this beautiful buzzard in Halland.

He was found by the side of the road in a daze. He was assessed at our Casualty Centre and, after veterinary advice, given emergency medication before being bedded down for the night to sleep and rest. Thank you to Henley house Vets in Uckfield for seeing him first thing the following morning. The bird sustained a wound to his chest. He was anaesthetised at the vets and the throat repaired with sutures. He is taking a while to recover and we are still having to force feed him, but fingers crossed we can pull him through.

One of the hedgehogs suffering from Pneumonia

One of the hedgehogs suffering from Pneumonia

We have had a few hedgehogs coming in over the past couple of weeks suffering from pneumonia. We had a hedgehog in from Burwash weighing just 171grams, he is a bit snuffly and was found out during the day. Another hedgehog was picked up at the weekend from The Jefferies at Horsted Keynes. Again he was small for this time of year and out during the day time. This hedgehog had a visible neck line rather than being nicely rounded so despite being almost 400grams, he was underweight for his shape and size.

We are now at the end of October and at a time of year which is crucial for hedgehogs. Studies have shown that hedgehogs under the weight of 600grams are significantly less likely to survive than those over 600grams. As a general rule, if the weather is mild, then we advise that any hedgehogs between 500-600grams should be left in the wild but food put out to help them gain enough weight to safely hibernate. However, if mild and under 500grams or if wintery weather and under 600grams then they are going to struggle to cope and should be picked up and taken into care. If over 600grams then they should be left alone and allow to do what comes naturally to them. As always if you find a hedgehog out during the daytime, at any time of year then the hedgehog is highly likely to be sick or injured and should be picked up and veterinary advice sought.

Rescuer Tony rushed to the aid of a swan on the A27 near the Drusillas Roundabout. The entire family apparently crossed the busy road, they were all successful in crossing apart from one which got separated and ended up staying on the road and getting very confused and lost. It is amazing he didn’t get run over. Tony managed to catch the swan and he was taken to WRAS’s Casualty Centre as the family had disappeared out of sight. We are not sure if he was knocked at any point, but was a little sensitive to touch on his chest, in shock, and dehydrated, so was kept in for 24 hours’ observations. The following day he had made a full recovery. Not knowing for sure where his family were we had no choice but to release him with the non-territorial flock of swans at Princes Park, Eastbourne. Many parent swans are now starting to push their young away from them so, he won’t be reliant on his parents now.

A number of casualties have been dealt with this week including a barn owl at Cophall Roundabout which luckily was OK and flew off; a badly injured pigeon in Seaford; a badly injured pigeon outside Hailsham School and a report of an injured fox at Horsebridge which wasn’t found. Rescuers have also been to an injured gull in Eastbourne with a possible fractured wing. We also have had another baby hedgehog in from Polegate, it was found out during the day and too small to hibernate. Sadly we have had another rabbit suffering from myxomatosis. One of our care team spotted the poor animal on his way home. Thank you to St Anne’s vets in Eastbourne for seeing him. These are just a small sample of the many calls we are receiving at the moment.

We have managed to release a number of casualties this past week including six more pigeons, four from one of our aviary sites, one in Hailsham and one in Eastbourne as well as a jackdaw also in Eastbourne. Five more pigeons also taken to one of our soft release aviaries - including our handreared ferals Bingo, Jack and Beanstalk. Also one of our hedgehogs was collected for release back to his home in Wivelsfield Green.

Saturday night is our Halloween Unusual Quiz Night at East Dean Village Hall just outside of Eastbourne. It should be a great night full of unusual questions including taste, smell, touch, listening, watching and more! The events comes with a meal too. Tickets cost £10 per person and include entry to the quiz and the free meal. They are really fun events and well worth going to just for a laugh. I’ll be dressing up in fancy dress again – you’ll have to come along to see as what though! If you want to book tickets please ring Lindsay on 01825-873003.