Sunday 8 January 2017

Review 2016.

Its been another busy year with 93 birds of prey looked after, 51 of which were successfully released back.They include, 28 Tawnies, 13 Barn Owls, Little Owls,long eared owl,short eared owl, 19 Kestrels,6 Sparrowhawks,16 Buzzard, Goshawk, Kite, Marsh Harrier and Peregrine. 5 were illegally shotgun shot, 3 were illegally fen trapped. Various other wildlife including 14 mute swans,6 badgers, 2 otter,a weasel,fox ,a Common Crane, Gt Crested Grebes,kingfisher,Manx Shearwater,herons,woodpeckers,common scoter,common gull, many hedghogs, pigeon and garden birds. A rich variety of wonderful British wildlife. Its been a good year for renewing and replacing the old aviaries. Portakabin arrived with volunteers to knock down and put up some new aviaries and made a wonderful job. They have housed swans, buzzards, Glaucous and Common Gull, ducks, geese and will be so very useful. Craig Ralston and a hard working team of volunteers arrived to knock down the old bird of prey aviaries, quite a task ! They soon had it done and 2 skip loads later the ground work was cleared ready for Charlie Heap to build new aviaries. Alan Hunt had kindly donated an original painting which was raffled and the money donated to build the aviaries. Charlie and his brother Ed worked hard and they are now up and in use. I'm so pleased with them.
My grateful thanks to Mark Naguib experienced wildlife vet at Battleflatts , Stamford Bridge, York for all your work with wildlife.You and your team make a tremendous difference. A Glaucous Gull stayed a short while here in the New Year and was successfully released back wearing a smart new darvik . It will be interesting to hear of his travels in the future. I've 2 barn owls in, a tawny and wing pinned kestrel, lots of hedgehogs and a pretty white dove. Here's to 2017.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Shot Birds of Prey
Female Red kite found downed at Low Marishes , x rayed and she had been illegally shot gun shot. She faired well, they are tricky to look after, need to keep those wonderful feathers in good condition.
Here she being released by Jack Ashton-Booth with Robert Fuller taking this lovely picture. Always good to get one back especially after shooting.
An adult Buzzard was brought in with gun shot wounds to the wing. The wing was broken in 2 places and was expertly pinned by Mark Naguib vet at Battleflatts Vets, Stamford bridge, York. It was tricky to get the bones aligned and to keep the bird quiet and settled whilst the bones healed. All went well and the bird was released back. Sadly shot and persecuted birds of prey are far too common in these parts.
This beautiful Peregrine was brought in by Helen RSPCA ACO found under power lines in East Yorkshire. He had a broken wing and was examined by Mark Naguib , vet who pinned the wing with the hope of getting this wonderful bird flying again.
The bird was kept in a quiet shed in a raptor rescue intensive care box, he fed well ,took his antibiotics and was rested there for a month. The pins were removed and now he needed to be flown to get fit again before release. Charlie Heap of the National Bird of Prey Centre at Duncombe Park, Helmsley offered to fly him so he could regain his fitness.
Charlie and his team did a great job of getting him fit and he was ready for release. Mark Naguib and I took him back to where he was found and he was released back to his own territory. Brought a tear but not for long , wonderful to see him go. My grateful thanks to Mark Naguib and the vets and nurses at Battlefatts vets at Stamford Bridge and to Charlie and his team at Helmsley. Team work and what a team and what a result.
I was called out by NYP to attend an injured adult sow badger rolled up tight in the egg laying compartment of a small hen hut. Liam Pointon from Haxby York had shot the captive animal 4 times with an air rifle and then clubbed her and bragged she still wasn't dead. It was a dark winter Saturday night and the badger was difficult to extract. I got her home and she was x rayed by Mark and her eye ball had to be removed . She coped well in rehab and thankfully regained fitness and was quietly released back to her home territory. Liam Pointon was taken to court and received the palrty sentence of 150 hours community service after not turning up to court and being arrested. This Buzzard was found at Westerdale on the North York Moors which is a National Park. The bird had barely left its nest and had been shotgun shot and caught in an illegal fenn / pole trap. It had to be put to sleep. Anyone who is aware of these illegally set traps left out in the open then please get in touch with me of PC Jez Wamlsley the Wildlife Crime Officer at Malton. Releasing some Goldfinches this week.

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Happy New Year 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.

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.