Team effort to save sparrowhawk stranded at Isfield Recreation Ground

A sparrowhawk was rescued at Isfield Recreation Ground.

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 11:40 am

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) was alerted to the bird grounded by the children’s playground on December 29.

Visitors to the park noticed the bird on the ground by the wire fence, and alerted East Sussex WRAS for help.

Rescuers Trevor Weeks MBE and Ellie Langridge from WRAS attended on site and after a short search of the area found the bird on a low perch in a hedgerow next to a stream.

“The bird had moved from where it was originally reported,” said Trevor.

“As soon as I saw where the bird was I knew I was going to get wet.

“I just hoped that I wouldn’t have to go in too deep as it was rather cold.”

Trevor and Ellie used a large sheet to restrict the bird’s ability to escape, but the small branches of the hedge made approach difficult and the normal use of nets impossible.

Picture: East Sussex WRAS

After the bird dropped down to a lower branch, Trevor was able to surround the bird with the sheet and make an attempt at capture.

“The caller thought the bird was a kestrel and I can see why as this young sparrow hawk was very small for this time of year,” he said.

“The bird did not put up much fight, and was slightly underweight.”

Trevor and Ellie returned to their ambulance and drove the bird to WRAS’s veterinary hospital on the A22 at Whitesmith, where lead casualty manager Katie Nunn Nash checked the bird over.

Picture: East Sussex WRAS

“His weight wasn’t too bad for this time of year and considering his size, we wonder if he may have flown into the tall wire mesh fencing and fallen to the ground,” said Kate.

“He isn’t using his shoulder properly at the moment, but we think this is only a minor problem. We will see how he is after a few days of treatment and rest.”

It is hoped the bird will only need to be in care for a short period of time and Trevor and Ellie aim to return the bird to Isfield in the new year.