Bird of Prey Rescue at Isfield

Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) have been out to reports of a bird of prey grounded by the children’s playground at Isfield recreation ground this afternoon.

Visitors to the park noticed the bird on the ground by the wire fence, and walked back home to call East Sussex WRAS for help.

Rescuers Trevor Weeks and Ellie Langridge from WRAS attended on site and after a short search of the area found the bird on a low perch in a hedgerow next to a stream.

“The bird had moved from where it was originally reported. As soon as I saw where the bird was I knew I was going to get wet. I just hoped that I wouldn’t have to go in too deep as it was rather cold” said Trevor.

Rescuers used a large sheet to restrict the birds ability to escape, but the small branches of the hedge made approach difficult and the normal use of nets impossible. 

After the bird dropped down to a lower branch, Trevor was able to surround the bird with the sheet and make an attempt at capture.

“The caller thought the bird was a kestrel and I can see why as this young sparrow hawk is very small for this time of year. The bird did not put up much fight, and is slightly underweight” said Trevor.

Rescuers returned to their ambulance and drove the bird to WRAS’s veterinary hospital on the A22 at Whitesmith, where Lead Casualty Manager Katie Nunn Nash checked the bird over. “His weight isn’t too bad for this time of year and considering his size, we wonder if he may have flown into the tall wire mesh fencing and fallen to the ground. He isn’t using his shoulder properly at the moment, but we think this is only a minor problem. We will see how he is after a few days treatment and rest.”

Rescuers hope that the bird will only need to be in care for a short period of time and aim to get the bird returned to Isfield for release in the New Year.

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