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Tuesday 26 June 2018


Every year this comes round, it’s an event I look forward to, but it goes hand in hand with dreading it at the same time, you know what’s coming and what they’re up against.

I probably write about this every year, you can’t help getting attached to them monitoring them month after month and year after year, some juveniles you know will not make it, the 1st week of fledging is likely the hardest part for them to overcome.

Of course like anyone, it gives me a great deal of satisfaction when I retrieve a juvenile after grounding, certain nest sites/buildings are not always ideal for fledging and you know that the 1st flight is going to be harder than most, especially trying to get back to height.

Paul is helping me no end, he recently returned 2 juveniles back, both from the same nest site and picked up from South Essex Wildlife Hospital. As I have said before they do an incredible job, if you want to donate to a good cause, this is it.

Both juveniles were taken on a train by Paul, with London’s traffic it’s the only way to get them back without sitting for a few hours in the rush hour, let the train take the strain.

Paul is now also ringing all the juveniles we put back as well, good data that may one day be used to see where they turn up.
One of the juveniles that Paul returned was the bird that came down in the Thames, quite incredibly rescued by Construction workers, how they managed it I don’t know, the bird actually ‘swam’ with its wings towards them.

From what I understand they were able to hang down from the side and grab the bird.

An exceptionally lucky juvenile rescued by Construction workers

Still with wet feathers and a muddy beak

To date 7 have come down on their maiden flights, an urban environment is a dangerous place with many pitfall’s to trap a juvenile, glass see through balconies to name just one. I have rescued a good few over the years that just sit behind the glass, totally confused that they can see the outside world but can’t get through the glass. At this stage also, they lack the wing strength and vertical takeoff prowess to clear the balcony.

On the other side of the coin however without these, many would end up on the ground and likely prey for Foxes if late in the day, the biggest thing however is the public, they have been incredible.

I retrieved a juvenile recently that had crash landed into a balcony late afternoon after being mobbed by 2 Crows low down.
It came to my attention the following morning after spending the night on the Balcony thankfully, the owners were marvellous.

The juvenile, in its attempt to escape, had trashed most of the flowers on the Balcony but all they could think about was the bird and its welfare, great people as are all that I meet when I retrieve a juvenile.

Behind glass, as you can see flowers had suffered

Sadly one juvenile was lost at a site after ditching in the Thames, it just makes you realise the water hazards that many coastal birds must face.

A very sad sight, the one that unfortunately did not make it

Hats off though to the Public and Construction workers, many juveniles wouldn’t make it without there help.

Released back successfully, the adults saw it straight away