Sunday, 9 March 2014

Lord Crathorne and the MBE, otters, Kestrels and the Whooper !

Family and friends attended the presentation of the MBE by Lord Crathorne at N.E. Base at Bank Island, Wheldrake on Friday.

Lord Crathorne is a lovely man and put everyone at ease and came especially to Wheldrake to present the medal.

My thanks to Robin and Diana Arundale for their nomination, Craig Ralston for hosting the presentation and his support and friendship over the years.

It was an unforgettable day .

Bella my granddaughter enjoyed the day too.

 This young male otter was found sitting amongst the pet products at a garden centre near Beverley. He had a sore face and infected bite wounds. Leanne from the RSPCA gathered him up and his injuries were treated by vet Mike Jones at Battleflatts Vets, Stamford Bridge.

He came home full of antibiotics and was left to rest in a warm shed with food. He lay quiet for a day and night before trying the trout and rabbit left out for him. A week later he was knocked out again to lift the scabs and clean up the wounds . Thankfully he was healing well and eating all before him.

A few days later he decided it was time to go, testing the pen, climbing and generally wanting to be off. Otters are great escape artists and when they want to go, they have to go as breaking teeth and hurting themselves on the enclosure is common. So I boxed him up and we headed back to the garden centre, it was too busy an area. I had a drive about to get him near the river systems he knew but
away from roads and people. I drove down and spoke to local people and found a good spot, with ditches and some cover leading to the river.
 Here he is in full control stepping out to go home. He swam the ditch, climbed the banking and humpily strode off under cover to the river. Marvellous !

Up date.
The beautiful Whooper swan cared for and released was seen 10 days ago with the main flock of over 70 birds near Bubwith Bridge. His darvik ring confirming his presence back safe and sound with his own.

He will very soon be flying back to whooper swan breeding grounds in Iceland and places north.
We look forward to hearing of his travels ,so good to know he survived so far, all so satisfying when things work out.

A Kestrel was found down near Goole and came here for some rest and rehabilitation and was successfully released back.

The over wintered hedgehogs are fat and well and are being released, so good to know they are back out there.

Spring is coming , the sunshine cheers everyone up, the birds are singing and the days are getting longer, hurray.

Friday, 24 January 2014

M.B.E. ?!

2014 arrived with a happy and amazing surprise an M.B.E.. Robin and Diana Arundale of Wolds Barn Owl Group had been busy earlier in the year and put together the nomination. They were supported by Craig Ralston of Natural England, Mike Jones ,vet at Battlelflatts Vet Clinic , Stamford Bridge , York and Mike Jackson BTO A ringer and trainer. My thanks to them for their continued friendship and support. It was all rather overwhelming and surprising to know I'd been given such a wonderful award. Lots of local people have congratulated me and I've had some lovely letters and cards from family, friends and strangers .

The work with injured wildlife casualties continues with the New Year bringing a stunning Whooper swan from Craig . This lovely bird came in very ill and lethargic. Mark Naguib vet at Battlelflatts gave him the  once over. He was x rayed with the help of superb bird vet nurse Leeanne and found to have lead shot in his gizzard. We tried a gizzard flush under anaesthetic which moved the shot but did not remove it. The bird was put on medication and he came home hoping he would recover . Whoopers call out , honking for their own and miss their families making them difficult patients in rehab.

He faired well and made some progress but the reason for the problem was still inside the bird and we knew it needed to go before the bird could fully recover. He was taken for more treatment with Mark and the dreaded lead at last was out. The bird was then given an expensive supplement to boost his condition before release.
He was a lovely bird to deal with and had to put up with a lot of handling etc. which he managed to contend with. Always hard for a wild bird and Whoopers are such wild birds not like Mute swans who are used to humans. The Whoopers at the NNR at Wheldrake / North Duffield are wild visitors from Iceland who come visiting for the winter escaping the severe cold from their homeland. They live and travel in family parties and grace the flooded ings , they are well worth a visit .

At last he was ready for release and was BTO ringed and a yellow darvik fitted to his leg, so we'll always know him and hopefully will learn of his travels via the BTO and WWT.

Mark the vet joined Craig and I for the release. Craig knew where the Whooper flock were on flood water near Aughton. It was a cold frosty morning as we carefully made our way to let the bird go.
He honked out his pleasure at seeing the distant flock of his own in the cold mists of the reserve. Mark placed him in the cold water and he paddling quickly away from us to join his clan. As he approached the Whooper flock he honked out and they replied, head bobbing their pleasure at seeing each other.
Amazing, what a start to 2014 !

Friday, 20 December 2013

Ottery Pottery

This skinny otter cub was found lost and alone on a driveway near Stokesley this week. She was taken to the local vets .They found she had sore pads and was quite subdued. They rang the Sea Life Centre in Scarborough who suggested they ring me. I went over to collect her . She was very quiet and sad. I fluid fed her as she's had some fish at the vets and left her to rest in a quiet shed with warmth and strips of raw trout.

Otter cubs take a year to rear and The New Forest Wildlife Park have a wonderful reputation for caring for them. They are reared wild and ready for release at over a year old.
So she travelled down to them , I hope she fairs well and a big thankyou for their care of wild otters.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

An Award.....................for me !

My thanks to I.F.A.W. for an Animal Action Award 2013 !

I've had some young Gannets to contend with. All found inland these 2 from Warthill and Garrowby neither places suitable for an ocean going sea bird.
They are tricky to handle, aggressive and dangerous, those dagger beaks able to inflict some damage.

Amy and Tod at the Sea Life Centre handle them well and soon had them fed and settled.
Once they're weights are good they were released at Bempton to continue their life at sea.
My thanks to the Sea Life Centre at Scarboro.

This Greylag was found downed on farm land and on x ray was found to be full of shotgun shot.
Mark at Battleflatts vets examined her and luckily the shot had missed the vital organs. She came home with me and within a week was standing, feeding well and paddling about on the water.
She was released at Wheldrake and swum off to join some more .

The badger cull in the South West has been praying on my mind. The science the government constantly told us was what it was all about,has been at best ignored and at worst lied about.

We wait now for the "independent " report ,  I fear the worse, more lies and half truths.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Dark Days for Badgers and a Good Day for a Buzzard.

The badger cull has begun and the free shooting of healthy badgers in the South West is happening now. Do look at all the information now freely available and make up your own minds. The scientists and conservationists are up in arms as it just makes no sense. Badgers are dying to prove a political point. Shame on you nfu and Owen Patterson I will never vote for you and yours. I'm sad, mad and no one seems to be is listening , they have their blinkers on, this cull will harm the farming community and the politicians.
Rant will never be over...................... 

A large this years female Buzzard was found downed by a farm gate. She was gathered up by the kind farming family and we met up to try and help this bird. She was x rayed by Mike Jones and found to have air under the skin on one thigh and shoulder. She had a bruise and had damaged her air sacs.
She settled in a small shed , was fed and left to rest. She had 5 days of medication and was soon fit and raring to go. I took her back  for release and here she is ready to go.
Nicola the land owner took this video on her phone , always the best bit of rehab !
My spirits have been lifted this week with the release of various birds of prey including this Little Owl. It was found in some nettles and was protesting loudly as a Sparrowhawk had it pinned to the ground. 
It recovered and was released this week along with 2 Kestrels, the Buzzard, a Tawny and a Sparrowhawk.


Tuesday, 13 August 2013


The 2 juv Sparrowhawks were ringed and released last week. Both birds were flying and eating well and looked spectacular in the sky at release. Adam and I just about to let go !

The juv House Martins had been flying and calling well at home so they were ringed and released into a big sky at Wheldrake. Its like Walt Disney when they go , swooping and eating up the sky, brings a tear to the eye. Good Luck to them and I hope they see Africa.
This x ray clearly shows shotgun pellets and the broken wing bones on a wild adult male Kerstrel. The lovely bird was found nr Garrowby and this incident is being investigated by Humberside Police. The bird was put to sleep as he would never be a flyer, shame on the shotgun holder.
Another juv Kestrel found down and thin. She's recovering slowly but is eating and peace and quiet should do the trick.
I was called to view a badger holed up in a shed near Kirbymoorside. This little sow had a horrendous maggoty fight wound to her rump. I swilled the wound as best I could the night I picked her up and was waiting on Battleflatts vets doorstep at 8am the next morning. Mike Jones took charge and we knocked her out to clean out the badger fight wound to her rump.
Mike flushed out plenty of the horrid white wrigglers and the wound looked big and meaty but clean and maggot free.

She was given antibiotics, ear drops for infection there and her wound was plastered with maggot cream. I brought her home and here she lays under the heat lamp recovering from the anaesthetic.
She's eaten up over night and is moving well and still loving the warmth of the heat lamp.
No sign of flesh eating maggots, so things are looking up for this pretty little badger.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Birds of Prey

Juv birds of prey have been sparse this year. I've only had 2 young Tawnies, both rta's and too badly injured to survive. No juv Barn Owls ...yet, I think the females were not in breeding condition after the long cold spring. This little Kestrel was found thin and covered in flat flies on the road at Millington Pasture. He was taken to Robert Fuller who passed him to me to rehab here. He's eating well and flying so just needs time.

This bird came in as a Sparrowhawk ! I don't think so. This female Kestrel was found downed in Hull ,been at a vets there for a day or two and came in very thin and covered in dusty soot.I washed her as soot is corrosive so hope she hasn't been preening too much. She was and is extremely hungry and tit bit feeds well. She's still confined to a box but has started to feed herself so will be in an aviary soon.

A young female Sparrowhawk was found in the back yard of a house in York, she was unable to fly. One wing was proud and I hoped it wasn't broken at the shoulder. Mark the vet at Battleflatts, Stamford Bridge x rayed her and all seems to be good. She ate well and is now flying well in an aviary so will soon be ready for off.
There are 10 young hedgehogs here all eating, growing and looking good. The littlest male is a real character and has been hand reared so comes to say hello.
The warm weather has brought out the butterflies, here's a fine Peacock resting in the garden today.