Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Here's Mrs Sparrowhawk making her daily visit to be fed. She was brought here 7 years ago as a juvenile from Scarboro after fracturing her wing. She faired well and was released here.She arrived back on top of an aviary within a week and I started feeding her. Such a privilege to see her nearly every day. She disappears during the breeding season and once her mate followed her in to feed. He was a small dark handsome male. Long may she reign. 2 juv Sparrowhawks came in from the RSPCA,they were lifted from a back garden where they were being kept illegally. Both were well , a brother and sister. I kept them separately as the bigger female can attack the smaller male. Both did well, were wild and were released in separate wooded areas. It was August so plenty of food about. A couple from the North East have very recently been found guilty of cruelty to amimals . Red the buzzard arrived here in 2014 in a very poor state. She was found in a coal bunker in Leeds. All her flight and tail feathers were broken , her wing butts and cere were raw and bleeding and she was very skinny and under weight. The West Yorkshire Police WCO lifted her and she took readily to the space and food in an aviary here. It took a year for her to regain her plumage and for her previous "owner" to come to court. Her eventual release was moving and will remain unforgettable. Sadly wildlife persecution is still rife here in Yorkshire so please report any concerns to police or me to pass on. I was asked to attend a badger dig near Whitby in October. This black terrier appeared from below ground at the sett and clearly showed the injuries a terrier faces. The diggers did a runner with 2 more terriers never to be seen again. The injured dog had surgery to its injured bottom jaw. She's out of it now thankgoodness. I attended another badger dig near Selby where blood was splattered about the dug area. Anyone out in the countryside who hears or see's men with terriers, spades etc do ring it in to the police with locations straight away, badges could be saved if you do. Take car numbers but take care. A young fluffy Barn Owl came in from NYM found on the side of the road. She gained weight and Robert Fuller kindly agreed to take her on. She was released into a barn owl nest box in his workshop roof space. She continued to eat well and fledged from this box. I ringed her before release and Rob and his family often see her at night patrolling his gallery. I've 2 kestrels ,a Tawny Owl, a Barn Owl,a Buzzard, 2 very late , nearly ready to go Mallards and the obligatory hedgehogs at this time of year. Roll on spring and just wish it wouldn't rain for a day or two !
Tuesday, 18 August 2015
Wednesday, 6 May 2015
Friday, 20 February 2015
Bird of prey persecution has a high profile here in North Yorkshire at the moment. The prosecution of a local pheasant farmer for setting pole traps to kill birds of prey was a timely reminder that bird killing is rife in these parts. I have cared for far too many illegally injured birds of prey. Sledmere has turned up trumps yet again. This adult female was brought here at the end of January 2015, she had grave injuries caused by an illegally set spring/pole trap.She was found in the grounds of Sledmere House. One foot was missing and the blooded stump , was an offence to see. The other foot was swollen and sore. Her tail feathers tatty and broken. Fen traps are placed often on fence posts or tree stumps, anywhere a bird of prey may perch. The bird lands and the heavy metal trap shuts causing fractures and gripping the leg. The bird flaps and panics to get away causing the leg to snap. She was put to sleep. This second bird also from the dales of Sledmere arrived here on Wednesday. It had been dead and partially eaten. I had the bird x rayed and it showed no shot or fractures to the skeleton of the bird. The feathers were in good working order . So what fate became of this previously well bird ? In the recent past a buzzard was found on the Sledmere estate and sent for toxicology testing. The bird had been illegally poisoned and the Head Game Keeper was raided by Humberside Police and NWCU. More than one illegal poison was found in his house on the Sledmere Estate. He received a conditional discharge ? How bizarre. A badger sett was found illegally dug and I went out to give my expert opinion on the current use of the sett. A badger cub was laid dead next to a man made dug hole on this active badger sett in one of the dales at Sledmere. Am I angry , you bet I am, holding a bird of prey in the hand knowing that its severe injuries are the result of a deliberate man made action should make us all mad. Are we to tolerate this illegally killing of protected species . Time to stop.
Monday, 2 February 2015
I am an Accredited Raptor Rescue Rehabilitator and at the end of every year they ask for information on birds of prey cared for in the last year. I cared for 99 injured birds ,43 Tawny Owls, 19 Barn Owls, 11 Buzzards,9 Sparrowhawks,8 Little Owls,7 Kestrels, 1 Peregrine and 1 Red Kite. 53 birds of prey were ringed and released back to the wild. I strive for better but wonderful to know over half were released back to
Thursday, 11 September 2014
A Red Kite was found downed up on the Wolds. The bird was taken to Robert Fuller, I collected the bird and took him for examination at Battleflatts vets where Mark did an x ray.
The wing was fractured but thankfully not the joint, but close enough to be a concern.
The x rays also showed damage to the air sacs so we think he may have been a road casualty.
The fracture was stable and healing, so he needed to be well fed and rested, easier said than done with big birds of prey !
Things went well and the bird was confined to a quiet shed , he would not eat, I tried rabbit, hare, partridge , dead day olds etc. So had to tit bit feed him quietly twice a day . He gained weight and looked thoroughly fed up as Kites do in rehab. They are beautiful birds all feather with that wonderful long forked tail. He began to look perky and his demeanour improved no end.
The fracture site settled down with no swelling or heat. I tried him in an aviary and he flew !
Making the decision to release is often hard as birds need to be good flyers to lead a wild life.
I have lots of experience of rehabbing big birds of prey and you have trust your instinct .
The decision was made and Robert, Vick, Lily and Ruby Fuller went with me for the release.
Vick took the video on her phone, as you can see all was well !
A lovely young buzzard was found floundering in a horse field near Beverley . The persecution of Buzzards is rife here in North Yorkshire. So every bird of prey is x rayed looking for shot or poisoning. This young Buzzard had swollen kidneys which press on the nerves to the legs making it difficult for him to stand. The reason why , we don't know , this is the second Buzzard I've had with this condition and sadly the first didn't make it. The bird was sensitively handled and he improved.
His release was also filmed by the kind family that found him , MEGA !
This fine second brood of Barn Owls are from a nest box locally , just hope the tiny one survives too .
Monday, 25 August 2014
The wounds healed well, I hid the meds in his food and he did well.
I released him back to the outskirts of his territory, where he left the travelling box without a backward glance. Always good to get them back home.
They managed to get him in the end and he was taken to the vets for removal. He came here for rehab and was given a course of antibiotics.
I sneaked a look in the pen at 6am one morning and caught him relaxing !
He was in beautiful condition , no doubt due to the caring people that fed him on his nightly visits to their garden.
He healed well and arrangements were made to return him.
He knew where he was on return and shot from the travelling box under a hedge and out into the wood and his sett beyond. We could hear him crashing through the under growth on his determined and fast dash for home.
I hear he returned 2 days later for his supper .
My thanks to all involved.
She is in good condition but wobbly
legged and refusing to eat.
Buzzards are one of the wildest birds of prey and I'm tube feeding her and tit bit feeding. She accepts and eats and I'm being minimal and at last today she has eaten some rabbit.
She may have been poisoned as she has no injuries/shot etc.
Buzzards are badly persecuted here in North Yorkshire, I've had them in shot, trapped and poisoned. If anyone is concerned about bird of prey persecution and knows details do speak to local police, rspb , or me.
A Little Egret was found near Spurn. The bird was not a flyer and skeletal thin. It came here and was rehydrated and x rayed by Mark Naguib at Battleflatts vet.
She had a broken clavicle/ collar bone , bruising and damage to her air sacs. We think she must have flown into something , hurricane Bertha may be responsible for this one. She was slight fairy thing , she was tube fed and stalked about the shed . Sadly she was laid quietly dead next morning. We did a p.m. and she had just gone without food for too long . A beautiful bird to see close up.
I've been in court with badger diggers who were found at an active sett near Leeds. A working terrier emerged from the sett wearing a locator collar with its bottom jaw bloodily rearranged by the badgers below. On their mobile phones were horrific images and video of badger , fox and deer torture.
One was sent to prison the other got a suspended sentence.
My grateful thanks once again to PC Andy Katkowski and his team at Wetherby for hard work, diligence and attention to detail.
If you see or know of anyone involved in wildlife persecution please get in touch and if it is happening now then ring 999 and let the police come and deal with them.