Tawny owls seem to flock whenever it starts to snow

Tawny Owl - Trevor Weeks
Tawny Owl - Trevor Weeks

I am so pleased the snow and ice have gone! I have just about recovered from losing so much sleep due to the hedgehogs scratching, scoffing and huffing away in their pens at the centre last week when I had to stay over because of the snow weather warnings.

I was so pleased when Brian and Monica agreed to stay over last week, thank you so much.

It amazes me that every time it has snowed over the past four years when I’ve had to sleep over at the centre, we have had Tawny Owls. This latest Tawny Owl was admitted after hitting a car window at Isfield last week. He has had a very lucky escape, and appears to be suffering from mild concussion. After several days of recovery, he was very much improved and we are hoping to release him this week.

We have also had two Kestrels come into care, one from East Hoathly and the other from Eastbourne DGH. The one from East Hoathly was only with us for a few days after also suffering from just mild concussion. The other is doing well but very thin.

Four more of our overwintered hedgehogs have left the hospital for our outside hibernation pens. Female Juniper at 874g has left to overwinter at Jen’s joining Button Moon, who has remained active despite the snow. Males Mr Ben, Noddy and Top Cat have joined the other boys at Hellingly. Most of those hibernating are now awake again or semi-hibernating and have regained a few lost grams. Hazelnut is still absolutely out for the count. Peach and Cherry, brothers who were hibernating last week, are now in semi-hibernation as is Griffin. New hogs in the last week, Bob, Trevor and Miranda are doing ok, but have suffered with the cold weather they were found in, little Trevor (sorry I didn’t name that one!) was only 292g when found in the snow.

We had a lovely young pigeon come into care after being found huddled under a hedge in Seaside, Eastbourne. We don’t expect to see such young pigeons at this time of year, but we do get the occasional one. The following day we had an even younger and very poorly little collared dove, which sadly was too poorly and despite Kathy’s best efforts looking after him round the clock he didn’t survive.

A big thank you to everyone who came to our recent recruitment days, it was a lot of work with the recruitment sessions and the inductions but well worth it. We welcome on board for the feed clean shifts, Julian, Ray, Jeanette, Lynn, Julie, Linda, Robert, another Lynn, Graham, Gillian, Andrew, Charlotte, Sue, Philip, Judith, Nina and Matthew, plus others signing up for rescue and orphan work too. A couple of vacancies are left so Kathy will be replying to e-mails she has had from people who couldn’t make the recruitment sessions on a first come first served basis. Do get in touch with Kathy if you are still interested in volunteering with what days you are available as she always keeps enquiries for future reference and we often have shifts become available with life or work changes. Kathy’s e-mail address is Kathy@eastsussexwras.org.uk.

We are getting a few calls from people concerned about foxes locked together rear to rear. Foxes are mating at the moment and after impregnating the female the male climbs off and turns round still attached to the female. He cannot withdraw straight away as they are locked together. After a short while they become unlocked and can part. You can’t force them apart. Please do not go out and scare them or throw water over them or anything, please give them some privacy and they will soon part and disappear.

At the weekend we had a call about a pigeon stuck under a railway bridge in Brighton Road, Redhill. This is obviously too far from us so we contacted our friend Lisa Venn in Surrey for help. She went out to check on the pigeon reported to us as trapped in the netting. It sounds like this one was lucky and contractors have now put up scaffolding to gain access and to fix the problem of how the pigeons are getting stuck.