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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

A good Bird of Prey story

Seeing as we always seem to be hearing of persecution stories involving Birds of Prey, I thought I would relate this story which took place in West Thurrock and concerned a company called Industrial Chemicals Limited.
It shows the lengths people will go to and how high nature is regarded, I found the Companies and employees approach to this absolutely brilliant, they could have just as easy turned round and said it’s on its own and we’re too busy, people care.

On Tuesday I got called out to the Company saying that a Peregrine had become trapped in a Factory, on arrival I found that it was a Sparrowhawk, although not Schedule 1 it is still no lesser of a wild bird. Pale fringing to the coverts, dark brown back, clean feathering and size pointed towards it being a juvenile female.


Maitland Wood, the supervisor who had contacted me said that it had been there since yesterday, they had been keeping an eye on it and had left the doors open all evening and night in the hope that it would exit unaided. I suspect that it had entered whilst chasing a pigeon, unfortunately it did not have the savvy to come down lower for freedom, all she could see was the higher level and the glass panes to freedom.

On Monday from what I can understand she was doing circuits from one end of the Factory to the other, when I arrived on Tuesday she was sticking to one end seeking an escape but was still very lively, in short I had no chance of catching her.
We discussed options, there were very few as there were no windows at the higher levels, Maitland then made the decision, get a Cherry Picker and Forklift, we are going to take one of the large windows out, fair play to him.
2 men then got a Cherry Picker and made their way round outside and up to the window, the Sparrowhawk seeing them from the inside moved to the middle of the Factory and waited, it took around 40 minutes to remove all the plastic beading and putty. The problem then was that it had to be pushed out from the inside, a Telescopic Forklift was bought inside the Factory and the window was eased out to the chaps outside. This I might add was done by Maitland sitting on a Pallet on the Forks, not easy by any means and a lot harder when you’re not comfortable with heights.

The juvenile, moved to the middle waiting

Forklift in to ease pane of glass out

Maitland on the end

Glass out

Operation complete, in the meantime the female had flown to the opposite corner and placed herself tight in a corner out of eyesight. Another 2 men then went up and flushed her out and hopefully towards the open window.
As if pre-ordained she flew across and landed on a Girder right next to the open window, a few seconds of hesitation and then she was gone.
A few more workers had gathered behind and a bit of a cheer went up when she exited the window, it had worked perfectly and I know everyone found the whole episode very satisfying, I know I did and I didn’t do anything, they did it all.

Maitland on the left with the co rescuers

The 6 workers and the company, Industrial Chemicals Limited deserve a big pat on the back, there’s always a place for nature, even in a Factory on an industrial estate.

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