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To the rescue

Thursday 21st April 2016

Whooper swan rescue, Tim Birch, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Whooper swan rescue, Tim Birch, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust worked with several organisations to rescue seven whooper swans over the weekend.

The swans found themselves stranded on a tailings dam within the operational land at British Fluorspar near Stoney Middleton in Derbyshire and were in a distressed condition.

The distressed swans were identified by a Derbyshire Ornithological Society member, Mick Lacey and the Trust was alerted to the issue by the Derbyshire Ornithological Society on Tuesday 12th April. The Trust contacted British Fluorspar and visited the site that evening to find a number of swans had died, with a further nine swans still living on the tailings dam

The Trust called in help from the RSPCA and Yorkshire Swan Rescue as well as vet Sue Mayer and co-ordinated a rescue in conjunction with British Fluorspar using a boat and canoe to round up the whooper swans.

The birds are now being cared for at the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Centre near York and we are hopeful that they will recover. 

Seven of the swans were carefully herded to the lakeside, checked over, wrapped up in protective blankets and transported to Yorkshire Swan Rescue’s wildlife hospital near York. As of Tuesday this week, 19th April, one of the rescued swans had died and the remaining six were receiving treatment for poisoning. This treatment is expected to take 2-3 weeks and the swans are responding well and already putting on weight. Two swans could not be caught initially, but the RSPCA have since returned to catch them and they have also been taken to Yorkshire Swan Rescue.

 A ring confirmed that these swans were from Iceland

Tim Birch, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Advocacy and Conservation Strategy said, “I am delighted that we managed to rescue these whooper swans that were in poor health and were unable to fly. It was important to act quickly or more birds could have died. The birds are now being cared for at the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Centre near York and we are hopeful that they will recover. A ring confirmed that these swans were from Iceland. Whooper swans visit the UK in winter and migrate back to Iceland late winter or early spring to breed. They are rare birds in Derbyshire and it is a tragedy that birds have already died.”

For updates on the swans’ progress, please follow updates on the Trust's Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital see: www.ysrh.org.uk


 

Photos: © Tim Birch, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust