2018 has flown by in a whirlwind! We've had an extremely busy year as gulls continue to be persecuted, with many of our patients being victims of abuse. Remember - all species of gull are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which means it is against the law to injure or kill them. Despite this, we have carried on regardless, and have had many successful rehabilitations and releases back into the wild. We hope, one day, they can be free from persecution and live a safe and healthy life!
The beginning of 2018 brought us snow! We've not had a lot of that recently, but thankfully it passed quickly. We had a beautiful Fulmar brought to us, from Croydon! Of all places! The poor little guy was completely exhausted and full of lice. Lots of rest needed for him. We were also really thankful for help from Tesco's Bags of Money in enabling us to purchase a new enclosure which will, at the moment, be part physio and part baby enclosure as we are always requiring extra space in the summer. We hope to raise enough funds for a larger physio aviary soon.
Beautiful Fulmar brought to us from Croydon.
The new physio aviary. Courtesy of Tesco's Bags of Money scheme.
We also hosted our Boogie Ball at the Bridgemere centre in Eastbourne which was a great success. DJ mikey helped us dance the night away, and the Irish bingo was fab! £115.90 was raised on the night for Bird Aid. Huge thanks to Lynne for making it happen!
In April we started our upgrade plans with Project Hospital Conversion! The back room in our hospital was converted into another holding area for patients on arrival. We also had several incoming patients in April including an adult Herring Gull who had been shot by an air gun, with the pellet stuck next to his spine. He sadly will never fly again. However, we were delighted to release a beautiful common gull, which really requires a name change as they are quite rare!
Ian, hard at work, as usual, completing Project Hospital Conversion.
Beautiful common gull in Julia's arms.
As we approached the summer, preparations were in hand for our open day with still lots of incoming patients and our yearly maintenance projects and plans for the upcoming babies. We were delighted with the number of people who visited us on our open day and we made over £700! With music from vocalize, games, delicious home-made cakes, bird talks, and plenty of sunshine, it reminded us why we worked so hard! Thank you for all that visited and donated on the day!
As we headed further into the summer season the influx of babies was upon us. We had 390 babies brought to us during the course of the summer (a massive increase on last year!) with all sorts of problems; many falling from roofs, one case of three baby gulls thrown in a bin, many with injuries including broken legs and wings, and many abandoned, thin and weak. Other incoming patients included many adults still; several Greater Black Backed gulls, a woodpecker, and two ducklings! It was an extremely busy summer but we still managed to raise some extra funds attending other events including the 999 show which helped us raise over £100.
This unfortunate little baby gull had a broken leg.
Burt was found in the gutter with his wing hanging out. He was very thin but thankfully didn't have any serious injuries.
Poor little Nollie who had wounds all over his head and an infected eye.
A beautiful Greater Black Backed gull in our care.
Releasing the babies
As the amount of babies brought to us gradually decreased we sighed a breath of relief. But not for too long! The winter season is a time for us to work on essential maintenance and our project plans. We still had many adult gulls in, as we always do, and had more time to spend on physio where it was needed. We attended the civic hall's christmas event raising some extra funds and we were over the moon to receive £6000 from the Coop which will go towards our upcoming projects in 2019!
When the babies go, time must be spent on those who need phsyio in order to be released back into the wild.
And lastly, our Christmas party was a fab celebration of all our work, our volunteers (who are essential to our cause) and our funders - with a special thanks to Gibbs and Dandy builders merchants in Eastbourne for sponsoring the event!
2018 was a both rewarding and challenging year but we made it, with lots of successes. A huge thank you to everybody who supports our cause!
Can you help support our work in 2019? As always, funds are vital to be able to provide food, shelter, treatment, and any further essential care to both the residents at Bird Aid and rescue birds needing further treatment.
Even a small amount can make such a difference.