TREVOR WEEKS MBE - Polegate man helps rescue swans in territorial brawl

The badger found at Wilderness Wood at Hadlow Down suffering from territorial bite wounds, and a broken jaw.
The badger found at Wilderness Wood at Hadlow Down suffering from territorial bite wounds, and a broken jaw.

A fight had to be broken up at Brighton Marina last weekend by WRAS volunteers, when two swan started fighting in the marina and became stuck.

Rescuers had to scare off one of the two swans which was attacking the other which had become stuck between a pontoon and wall at the side of the marina last Saturday.

Rescuer Tony Neads, of Polegate, struggled to free the swan which was tightly caught and entangled in a hose pipe. The swan which was caught was driven to our Casualty Centre where it was assessed by centre manager Chris and Kirsti. They had problems controlling the bleeding on the foot as the wounds were extensive, so Tony delivered the swan up to the Swan Sanctuary at Shepperton for expert attention.

The second swan caught from Brighton Marina with the more minor injuries was released today back to the Marina to return to his partner.

Tony was also able to bring back a mature cygnet from the sanctuary at the same time, which was one he rescued at Rickney, near Polegate, which was very poorly after being pushed away by its parents.

Staying with waterbirds, we rescued a Guillemot which was found on the beach with a head injury. The bird was treated at WRAS’s Casualty Centre before being sent to RSPCA Mallydams Wood where they have specialist seabird facilities.

We have also had reports of a number of dead guillemots washing ashore at Seaford and floating dead in Newhaven Harbour.

Examination of two of these birds has now shown the birds to weigh about half their natural body weight, suggesting this could be a small seabird wreck. Seabird wrecks are the term used when multiple dead and emaciated birds wash ashore and normally occur after rough weather at sea when flocks of seabirds lose track of the sources of fish they are following.

The numbers seen on the Sussex coast are fairly low compared to incidents which have occurred over the past decade on the eastern coast where there have been a number of incidents where hundreds of birds have washed ashore dead.

WRAS is delighted to have been chosen as one of the charities for the green token scheme at ASDA in Eastbourne during March and April and Hailsham Waitrose have chosen WRAS as one of their three charities at their Hailsham Store for April. Please support WRAS as we desperately needs funds to help pay for the up and coming busy spring and summer season.

Thank you to Uckfield Bonfire Society for donating £100 from their fundraising over the past year too.

Other rescues have included a pigeon trapped in a chimney at West Hoathly, an injured gull in Bexhill, and an injured pigeon in Hastings. An injured fox was rescued in Churchdale Road, Eastbourne, a road casualty fox on Cross Levels Way, Eastbourne, a pigeon flying round inside Boots in Eastbourne and an injured wood pigeon in Uckfield.

We have a buzzard which was rescued by centre manager Lindsay and Chris from Cinder Road, Chailey. He was found in the back garden by the finder seemingly suffering from possible concussion. The care team have used a cardboard splint to protect the bird’s tail feathers while in care. Damaging these important feathers could delay his rehabilitation and delay his release. He is recovering well and is expected to be suitable for release this week.

We also have a badger found at Wilderness Wood at Hadlow Down suffering from territorial bite wounds, and a broken jaw which is possible as a result of being hit by a car.

Our vet Mike sedated the badger and was able to clean out the wounds thoroughly and assess the jaw. We hope he will make a full recovery.