Dorset Wildlife Rescue

WILD MAMMALS & BIRDS OF PREY RESCUE….. We are unable to take in garden birds or seagulls

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Two or three times a year we send out newsletters to our supporters, if you would like to receive these, please email us your name and address and we will happily add you to our mail out list. The newsletters are free, but we would be grateful for a donation to cover costs if you are able.

Here’s a recent sample.

Please note the newsletters are printed in black and white




Spring 2010


It is the second week of May and yet there is snow forecast for Scotland and gardeners are being warned about frosts…. Very strange sort of spring this year. Whilst we, or perhaps it’s just me, moan constantly about how cold and miserable it is, our wildlife are truly suffering.

The long cold winter has caused major problems for them, Badgers with young are finding little food around because the worms are staying too deep, and beetles and bugs are impossible to find because it’s too cold, and whilst the badgers struggle on, many hedgehogs are now starving. Having hibernated much longer than usual, they are waking to find no food about. 

The blue tits and great tits in our garden are feeding their young from our fat balls because there are no grubs and caterpillars yet….   So please put out food if you can, just about all wild creatures are in need of it and you will save lives… Thank you… But that’s enough doom and gloom, this spring has, as always been a busy and successful one for DWR…. And here is just a few of the stories of some Dorset Wildlife Rescue’s recent patients………….



You may well remember just how beautifully cute ‘Sixpence’ was when she first came to us last winter, well a year on, you can see just how magnificent she looks now. And I’m thrilled to let you know that she is now swimming free back in the Dorset river that gave her life. We wish her well and trust she will live a long and happy life…………..


200% increase in Birds of Prey patients

The number of Birds of Prey patients continues to increase. Over the last 18 months the sharp rise has been incredible. Some, like Buzzards, Cedric and Celia and Tawny Owl Humphrey, have come in following road accidents. About 75% of our Birds of Prey patients arrive with severe concussion following incidents with cars. Buzzard and Tawny Owl numbers have increased in recent years and so with ever busier roads the number of casualties is likely to go on rising…..

The majority make a full recovery and are released back into the wild successfully, a small number sadly don’t, but they are at least cared for and allowed a pain free and dignified end…

But not all Buzzard patients come in because of accidents……….




We were called out to rescue this Buzzard from a small hamlet just west of Wareham. On arrival it was obvious she couldn’t fly and she was deeply distressed as she flapped around and dragged herself along the ground by her wings.   

Catching her was pretty easy and the cause of her grounding was all too obvious. Some ‘individual’ had obviously seen her soaring in the sky, probably over the very nearby wood…. And decided to take a pot shot at her with a shotgun, (there were pellets in her still)  the result was that this person had blown her left leg clean off and her left wing was totally shredded… One can only imagine the pain she was enduring….. There was nothing we could do for her and we were forced to put her to sleep……                

 Sadly that is not an uncommon event, you may have read in the Echo, that Wardens from Dorset Wildlife Trust brought another shot Buzzard to us recently… This one had been shot by an air rifle on Upton Heath…. Birds of Prey are ‘supposedly’ protected, and yet every year more come in to us with shooting injuries or having been poisoned….    A very sad state of affairs indeed.





So what’s new, every year we have the joy of being foster mum to cubs that find themselves in trouble of some sort or another….. 

And it is a strange sort of joy, because really we would prefer the cubs to be successfully reared by their real mum. But spring wouldn’t be spring if we didn’t get to care for these beautiful creatures…. Pictured above is Lulu, she has got to be the most beautiful cub I’ve ever seen, she is simply stunning…. The photo does her no justice, but that’s because she is very shy….. a good thing for a fox.  She came to us after having been found alone and starving at only about four weeks old….  

Over the page is Rosie, who was saved by a quick thinking builder from Bournemouth… The building site was being dug up by earth moving machines when he saw this tiny bundle of fluff in the scoop of the machine…… Rosie was so very lucky, but sadly her mum and three other siblings were not so, and the heartbroken digger driver was distraught at the accident………



This year has been particularly tough for fox cubs and their numbers have been dramatically reduced… The long cold winter meant cubs were born when snow and ice prevailed everywhere. Many many litters were lost…….. 

So every cub is even more important than usual….. 90% of cubs won’t see their first birthday so please do put out a little food for them if you can, especially this winter when this years cubs experience life on their own for the first time at the toughest time of year..  

But still people phone me to demand we remove cubs from their land/garden. Why people hate foxes so is an anathema to me….

At this time of the year I get so many hate filled calls that I start to despair about people….

Who are you calling ugly


This young lady is Harriet, she is an orphaned Tawny Owl chick found by a very caring chap in Wareham Forest. She had fallen, or had been pushed by an older sibling, from her nest. Unable to walk and by now very cold and distressed she was in need of help. Particularly as she was on a gravel track used by dog walkers that had no cover at all…. The nest could not be seen and to save her life she needed to be rescued… ( which is not always the case with owl chicks, older chicks with nearly full feathering may well be ok out of the nest as long as they are not in danger) But our Harriet was certainly in need of a caring hand to help her. She is very feisty and we will certainly not allow her to become imprinted as we are determined to see her released back into the wild as soon as she is able to fend for herself…

 Tawny Owls are secretive birds and we love them…. They are our commonest owl and yet few people ever get to see one…. Pictured below is ‘Hortense’  what do you mean that’s not a proper name……of course it is…. And she liked it well enough… not so sure Marmaduke and Prudence were  so keen on their names, but hey !  can’t please everyone….



Please do put food out for hedgehogs if you can… dog or cat food is fine…no milk please..  

Yet more are coming in to us totally emaciated ………. They are a truly pitiful sight…. We will lose a huge percentage of the population if they don’t get help and the warmer weather doesn’t arrive soon…..

 The very best of wishes to you all

Nick and Sandi

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