Looking back at 2018

Hello and welcome to the first official Seahaven Wildlife Rescue blog post! These posts will usually contain any mixture of the following:

  • Campaigns we’re supporting
  • Fundraisers
  • Information and updates on our current casualties
  • Stories from the Seahaven team
  • Challenges
  • Wildlife tips

and potentially many more! Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

But, to kick-start the new blog in the new year, we thought we’d do a re-cap of what we’ve been up to in 2018.

This year has been a very busy one for our little charity. We’ve answered well over 2000 emergency rescue calls, driven roughly 9000 miles, and saved the lives of countless animals!

The species we had the most calls about in 2018 were:

Wood Pigeons

These two fledgling Woodies came to me for intensive care and hand rearing. Hari (left) had a deep wound from being predated and made a full recovery. Cooper (right) had a fractured and infected leg, and after two weeks of care, medication and physio he recovered the use of his leg. Unfortunately, Cooper later passed away from a resilient lung infection. These are the cases that are heartbreaking for wildlife rescuers like us. Seeing him come so far, but it still not being enough.

Feral Pigeons:

We’ve had a very large quantity of feral pigeons come and go this year, and thankfully most of them made it through their illnesses and have been released! The pigeon in this photo is one that had come in to have some of its toes amputated, and had been successfully released. Months later, Carrie found him living happily with a flock at Churchill Square! Moments like this lift our spirits.

Blackbirds:

This baby Blackbird was named Pippin, she was caught by a cat and taken in by a volunteer for immediate treatment of her wounds.1 We were hopeful for her, as she was peeping away and no infection had taken hold. An X-ray confirmed she had severe nerve damage in her leg, and so she was sent to Rogers Wildlife Rescue to be raised with other Blackbirds her age, and hopefully regain some use of her leg.

And last but certainly not least… The busiest gull season we’ve ever faced, where we had over 1000 calls for gulls alone!

Herring Gulls!

We weren’t the only rescue struggling with the massive amounts of herring gull chicks that needed rescuing. All local charities were inundated with casualties and orphans! Thankfully, a good amount were able to be returned to the nests they’d tumbled out of. By working together with Rogers Wildlife Rescue, we were able to rescue and release way more between us than if we’d worked alone. Every few days we turned our meds room into a pool for the chicks. Believe me, that is not something you want to clean up after!

But these four species weren’t the only ones we’ve had in this year. We’ve also rescued mice, garden birds, squirrels, hedgehogs, foxes, owls, kestrels, partridges, ducks, and a cat that had been missing for 5 weeks! A big thank you to the members of the public and other wildlife organisations who phoned up and alerted us to these rescues. You play an essential part in our charity, and we couldn’t do it without you!

Naturally, we aren’t supposed to have favourites, but I’m pretty sure every one of our volunteers hold a special few rescues in their hearts. Allow me to introduce you to our 2018 favourites.

Fantastic Mr. Fox!
This little guy was hit by a car in Peacehaven and needed stitches for a wound on his rear leg. The video of him getting stitches from our vet at Coastway has over 7000 views, making him our most popular casualty of 2018! Thankfully, he made a very quick recovery and was released in Chattsworth Park only a week later. He is by far the healthiest fox we’ve ever seen. Sparkly white teeth, a fantastic bushy tail, and very sprightly indeed.

Tawny Owl : 
This beautiful creature was brought to us for treatment after being hit by a car as he tried to feed on roadkill. He had soft tissue injuries and damage to both of his eyes. With a bit of TLC and frequent medication, he came on in leaps and bounds!
This photo is of our lovely Tawny in our indoor aviary once his eyesight had returned. We put him in here so he could stretch out and keep using his wings. If birds are kept in small recovery cages for too long their flight muscles waste away and they lose1 the ability to fly, so with casualties like this we try and treat them efficiently enough that they can be put in flight cages and aviaries to retain their muscle strength. He was safely reintroduced to the wild.

Whizz: 
A fledgling feral pigeon that came to us after being attacked and losing all of the feathers on her head! She went to Carrie for hand rearing and treatment. The attack left her half bald, with damage to the top of her beak, a cut nostril, and damage to her tongue! She also couldn’t squeak properly due to these injuries, and Carrie said she sounded like one of those squeaky rubber chickens!
As you can see, Whizz (front) made an astounding recovery. Although she never quite looked the same as other pigeons (check our her fluffy tutu and gnarly nostril tear!) she grew up to be a perfect pigeon, displaying natural behaviours and even paring up with another of our casualties, Fuzz!

Fuzz:
A hatch-ling feral, and the loudest squeaker I’ve ever met! These photos show his progress from the day he was born, to the week he started learning to fly. He was hand reared by Carrie too, and once he was old enough he was released with Whizz, his bonded mate.

Grumpy Duck:
This beauty was found on East Street in Brighton, a little battered and bruised. She had a large cut on her chest, and further injuries to her leg. She received stitches from our vet and then stayed with us for medication, observation, and assisted feeding. Safe to say, she was very unhappy about this! Ducks are gorgeous creatures, but none of them enjoy being away from the pond and dislike humans a lot. Thankfully, this grumpy duck made a full recovery and was released to a pond in Rottingdean, where she made lots of other ducky friends.

As you can see, we’ve had a very busy year, and this post covers only a fraction of the work we’ve done. No doubt 2019 will be just as busy! Please let us know what you’d like to see on this blog, and feel free to ask us any questions you have about our charity and casualties in the comments!

Finally, we’d like to say a massive thank you to all of the people who have donated, supported, and sent us things from our wish list this year. We rely entirely on donations, and due to your amazing generosity we’ve managed to meet our costs for the year and keep doing what we do best

One of our biggest hopes for 2019 is to be able to raise enough money that we can expand the charity! Check out our facebook and instagram for our current fundraiser links and wishlist.

Happy New Year from me (Rhianna) and the rest of the Seahaven team

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