Thursday, 11 September 2014

Birds of Prey

Red Kite
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 !
Barn Owls.
This fine second brood of Barn Owls are from a nest box locally , just hope the tiny one survives too .


Monday, 25 August 2014

Badgers, Buzzards, Egrets and the rest...............................


This fight wounded badger came in from one of the local villages in a thin , poor way. He was stoddy with infection and needed cleaning up. He was taken by the RSPCA to Battlflatts vets at Stamford Bridge to be knocked out and his wounds bathed. He was difficult to anesthetise as wild creatures often are . He came here for rehab and needed antibiotics and feeding up. He was very thin but with good teeth. He fed well but was very nervous and wild and rehab was hard for him.

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.

This boar was visiting a garden where they are nightly fed. A tight snare was caught around his neck rubbing the skin sore, causing infection. The kind householders knew he was in trouble and e mailed me some pictures. They sourced a cage trap and spent 2 nights trying to catch him.
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.
Here he is looking round the pen on arrival.

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.

This fine young Buzzard is here recovering . She was found downed near Beverley. She has had x rays etc and has swollen kidneys, they press on the nerves affecting her stance.
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.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Busy , busy time of year.

An adult badger was found in a snare up on the moors above Harrogate. She was released but other snares were seen on the deer fence line.
PC Gareth Jones, Alan Farr RSPCA and I went for a look. We found illegally set snares under fence lines and on a gateway. There was an active badger sett close by, we pulled the snares closed and Gareth did the investigation. The land belongs to Yorkshire Water who have a no snare policy on their land, so no one would own up to setting these horrendous archaic methods of torture. The snares mysteriously disappeared , a grouse moor is yards away so we make our own conclusions . So damn frustrating.

A young boar badger cub was found wandering on a golf course in Leeds. The staff there picked him up and I went for a look. There was an active badger sett close by and after looking the cub over decided to put him back. He was in lovely condition , very spity and bitey and soon dashed off below ground to home. The staff kept a close eye on the sett and all was well.


I've reared 40 odd Mallard ducklings so far this year with another lot at home doing well. Here's Craig Ralston Senior Reserve Manager LDV releasing some on the reserve. Always good to see them go to such a beautiful place for ducks.

Its turning out to be hedgehog year. I have 19 juv hedgehog here, 10 of which I've hand reared. Hedgehogs have had a hard time of late so its good to see numbers may be on the up. They are little characters and need feeding round the clock so its tiring work but worth it. Most are out in pens now and tucking into cat food and meal worms. If anyone has suitable release sites let me know. They need some rough cover with no slug pellets used and away from busy roads.

I'm pleased to report Barn Owls are having a bumper breeding season . They have found the last couple of years difficult with cold winters and wet springs.
The nest boxes have been full of young birds. This fluffy youngsters was found below one in a dutch barn. He was well and one of his doting parent was close by.
He was put back and hopefully has fledged with his other off spring.

Little Owl found on a busy road near Burstwick , was successfully released back yesterday. She had a brood patch so was a breeding bird, hope she found her family after a short stay here.

Any donations of food, meal worms, cash ! can be sent to Ryedale Rehab, 88, Ryedale Close, Norton, Malton. North Yorkshire. YO17 9DQ. tel 01653 695124. Thankyou.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Otter Release May 2014

3 beautiful, well grown otters are now living wild once again under a Yorkshire sky.
3 Royal otters, the historical name for spotty coated otters, were found lost and cold near Fryton.
The Fryton householders spent time searching for any siblings of the original cub found near a guinea pig hutch. 

3 cubs were found over a few days and we revived them and they were taken to The Chestnut Centre in Derbyshire before going on to their bigger centre, The New Forest Wildlife Park for rearing. They do an amazing job with the rehab of wild otters. One of the cubs did not make it but the 2 males grew well and thrived. Release plans for any wild casualty are thought of as soon as the casualty is brought in, particularly if it is a juvenile. Can we get it back to its parents , who do a better job than we can ever do.
Another female cub came into care from Skerne, she was found alone and cold on a frost snowy night. She soon revived but had an injury to her tail. Mike Jones vet from Battleflatts vets , Stamford Bridge examined her. The tip of her tail had withered and she needed an operation to remove the dead tissue.

Mike did a wonderful job and her tail healed well,she was then named Stumpy !
She too travelled down to the New Forest and was superbly cared for.
Release plans were put in place and the 3 adults, Hover and Rye, the 2 spottys and Stumpy travelled home in their individual kennels for release.
Here is Mike Jones the vet and Craig Ralston, Senior Reserve Manager LDV lifting the lids on the kennels for the release. Pens are made with an electric fence, a pond , kennels and food are placed at the release site and the otters live there for a few days before the fence is quietly lowered and they are free to go. Food is left out for a while as some insurance. These release pictures were taken by Helen Jones.

They are so beautiful, fit, healthy, wary, spotty but keen to be out and to be on with their wild life.
Stumpy was taken to her release site where she was quietly placed in the pen, she was more reserved than the males and only her nose was visible as she sniffed the air of home.
Her release went well and she too has gone out in to wonderful otter habitat away from roads and people.
My grateful thanks to the householders of Fryton, Slingsby and Skerne.
Also to Ed Heap, Roger Heap, Jason and Donna and all the staff at the Chestnut Centre and New Forest Wildlife Park for their wonderful care of these orphans.
My grateful thanks to Mike Jones, the vet for his support and care for wild beasts and for helping these lovely wild mammals.
A big THANKYOU to Craig Ralston NE , Fallon Mahon NE , Jamie Roberts and Jon Traile YWT for help and support with release sites and continued care and monitoring.
I am indeed a lucky woman to have had the experience of caring for these otters and to see them go on to lead the wildlife they were intended for. It is so good to have the support and enthusiasm of all the people that have helped to get these creatures back to their homes.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Birds of Prey.

This lovely male last years Peregrine was found under over head wires with a wing totally missing.  He was put to sleep, its a miracle he survived the shock etc. he must have hit the wires hard and fast.
Birds of prey and their persecution has been in the news again. I am dealing with a dead buzzard found in suspicious circumstances. If anyone sees / hears or finds an injured/ dead bird of prey or knows of misdeeds concerning birds of prey PLEASE talk to North Yorkshire Police / RSPB investigations unit /me .
I have 4 juv Tawnies in , all 4 were found under trees on the floor. Young tawnies leave the nest and become "branchers" before they can fly. These 4 sadly had not reached that stage and were too weak to climb back up . I have seen them do this at the stage this biggest bird is in the picture.

So ask for advice if you find a young tawny it may be perfectly fine and being cared for. Its such a shame to lift them if they parents are caring for them as normal.

Juv Barn Owls on the floor are very vulnerable and adult Barn Owls tend not to feed or care for their young if they leave the nest site early. So ask for advice .

The baby bird season is upon us and please remember no young garden bird is a good flyer to begin with. If you are worried about juv birds on the floor then lift them up to shed /garage roof, bush /tree but keep them close to where you found them. The parent birds will be close by .

Roe deer will be giving birth late May to June and a reminder if you see a young spotty fawn in cover or sat alone, DO NOT TOUCH it, its mother will be feeding close by and are easily spooked by dogs etc.

I love the spring and I am busy with blackbirds, hedgehogs, tawnies and lots of ducklings.

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 !