Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Summer Time.

Hannah, Jamie, Lucy and me well muddy after ringing Greylag goslings and then releasing rehab Mallards at Wheldrake.
These x rays show a bad break on an adult Kestrels wing, the bird had been shot. The bird was found at Leppington and treated by Mark Naguib, experienced bird vet at Battleflatts vets, Stamford Bridge. He expertly pinned the wing and the bird stayed a while with me for rehab. Thankfully it worked out even though the bird removed the pin him self 10 days in !
Here he is just about to go, always thrilling but more so when you realise how far you've come with all the treatment and rehab needed to get this bird right. He flew well into an ash tree and called as he landed . Yippee !!
Tyto Guttata. This stunning German Barn Owl was found on a container ship bound for Immingham. She was taken to the dock office on landing and passed to vets from there. She ended up here, thin beautiful but with a badly dislocated elbow joint. Sad but an amazing bird to see.
These little belters came to stay for a weekend. This pair of female Peregrine chicks were being illegally held and were brought here by Steve Downing RSPB investigator. I think you can tell Mark Naguib and I were well impressed with them. They were wild fostered and thank goodness it all worked out and they now live a wild life. There is a court case pending so will tell all as and when.
Here's Bella with some of this years juv hedgehogs, I've just released the last of them, they seem to have had a good year.
This little dog otter cub was found alone on a jetty on a fishing pond in East Yorkshire. He was squeaking loudly and should not have been away from his family. They are the most amazing things to have in the hand and he faired well. He is now safely housed for rearing at the New Forest Wildlife Park who do a wonderful job of rearing wild otter cubs.
Releasing a young Tawny Owl after an rta, always the best bit. I've 2 Buzzards on the go, 2 this years Sparrowhawks, more hedgehogs, collared doves etc etc.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015


The little Kestrel who was found shotgun shot and had its leg pinned by vet Mark Naguib went on to release. All the hard work came right and this lovely bird was returned to its home territory. Here is the release picture taken by Craig Ralston. Even more wonderful is Craig spotted the bird this last week end sitting on the farmhouse roof where she was originally found, happy days.
I've had a variety of thin /rta olws here , always good to get them back out again. Bella my grandaughter is getting a dab hand at releases.
I had 2 Common Scoters found inland at Easingwold and Harome 5 days apart. They travel over land to breeding grounds in the North and find it impossible to take off from the land.Both were well and just needed the sea to feed and take off again . They were released in Scarborough Bay , scooting off over the water to be seen ducking and diving for food within minutes, lovely birds to have in the hand. My thanks to Craig Ralston yet again for first class birding advice.
A female Kestrel was found injured last October near Scunthorpe and taken to a pigeon fancier who housed the bird in a large pigeon loft. The bird recovered but was never released. I was asked by RSPB and Humberside Police to catch and assess the bird for release. She was light but feather perfect and very wild. She gained weight and did well and was released at Wheldrake on the LDV NNR.She had been ringed previously in Sweden in July as a nestling in a brood of 4 ! What a tale she could tell.
This fight wounded badger stayed a while in April. Here he is ready for off and looking longingly for home in the travelling cage. He was released back to his home territory , let's hope he's learned some manners.
Yet another wild bird of prey persecution case, a shot gun shot breeding female Buzzard. The bird was found in Nettledale Old Byland. A pellet had travelled through her brood patch , up through her heart to lodge near her collar bone. She may have been shot on the nest. What 1st class b does this to one of our own ? PC Jez Walmsley at Malton Police Station is the Wildlife Crime Officer , he is investigating and seems to be finding out allsorts about the area.
Here's the happy throng, spring is here and the mallard ducklings and greylag goslings are growing fast. Bella "loves" them.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Buzzard Persecution , Sledmere, East Yorkshire.

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

Raptor Rescue data for 2014

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
lead a wild life. I have had a run on rta Tawny Owls , all found by roads ,concussed and quiet. I've 2 here doing well, eating and on the up. I am caring for a shot kestrel with a badly broken leg, his leg was pinned by Mark Naguib , vet and we are hopeful for a good out come, early days yet. Which moron decided it was a good idea to shotgun shoot this bird is beyond me. Humberside Police and RSPB are investigating. The persecution of birds of prey continues. I have 3 buzzard persecution cases on the go and will tell all when I'm able. Please look out and report in to me, police or rspb if you are aware of any wildlife crime, we will all do our very best to address it.
The little Kestrels xray with shattered leg, now pinned, shotgun pellets near the collar bone.