Garden designer nurses injured bird back to health in his bathroom after rescuing it from the road 

1 month ago 6

A cuckoo in our nest! Garden designer nurses injured bird back to health in his bathroom after rescuing it from the road

Joel Ashton, 34, saved a cuckoo that was lying injured in the middle of the roadHe used tweezers to feed the bird and nurse it back to full healthEventually, the cuckoo had recovered its strength and was able to fly off

By David Wilkes for the Daily Mail

Published: 22:07 GMT, 22 January 2021 | Updated: 22:16 GMT, 22 January 2021

Tradition has it that spring is not here until you hear the first cuckoo.

But when Joel Ashton spotted one of the endangered and seldom seen birds lying injured and exhausted in a road, it heralded the start of a touching rescue mission.

Mr Ashton, 34, who was on his way to work as a wildlife garden designer, stopped his van, gently put his fleece over the bird so it didn’t go further into the road, picked it up and took it home.

‘It was in shock and, I think, had flown into a car or been grounded by the side draught from one. He had a limp, some loose feathers, couldn’t stand up and was so tired, but didn’t seem to have any major damage,’ he said.

New friend: Mr Ashton’s children are introduced to the cuckoo

When Joel Ashton spotted one of the endangered and seldom seen birds lying injured and exhausted in a road, it heralded the start of a touching rescue mission

On day 12 he introduced his children to the cuckoo for the first time. It perched on his six-year-old son’s hand and let his daughter, four, stroke its tummy

He placed the cuckoo – thought then to be two months old – on the fleece in a bath at his home near the village of Ashingdon, Essex. Using tweezers, he fed it mealworms and gave it water from a syringe. The next morning the cuckoo was perkier, hopping about in the bath and preening itself.

Mr Ashton, who has recently posted videos of the cuckoo rescue on his YouTube channel, Wild Your Garden With Joel Ashton, put a branch in the bath for it to perch on. By day five, the bird was freely taking mealworms without him having to encourage it to eat.

Cuckoos, which winter in Africa, are on the RSPB’s Red List of severely declining species in the UK. They arrive here in late April and early May.

On the sixth day the cuckoo flew out of the bath and helped itself to mealworms from a box. Two days later, it decided its favourite perch was on the shower cubicle. It would also perch on Mr Ashton’s shoulder.

The cuckoo perched on his hand and, after a look over its shoulder at him as if to say goodbye, flew off, ahead of its 4,000-mile flight to central Africa a few weeks later

Mr Ashton, 34, who was on his way to work as a wildlife garden designer, stopped his van, gently put his fleece over the bird so it didn’t go further into the road, picked it up and took it home

On day 12 he introduced his children to the cuckoo for the first time. It perched on his six-year-old son’s hand and let his daughter, four, stroke its tummy. Working towards the day when he could release it back into the wild, Mr Ashton contacted the British Trust for Ornithology to have it checked over, logged and a ring fitted to its leg so its migration pattern could be monitored if it was spotted again.

Having found the bird on June 30 last year, the final farewell came 20 days later, after Mr Ashton had acclimatised it to life outside by putting it in a large outside cage.

The cuckoo perched on his hand and, after a look over its shoulder at him as if to say goodbye, flew off, ahead of its 4,000-mile flight to central Africa a few weeks later.

Mr Ashton, co-author of the book Wild Your Garden, said: ‘It was an emotional day. I’m hoping I might see him again this spring – or maybe I’ll hear him sing.’

Helping hand: Mr Ashton holds the bird

Using tweezers, he fed it mealworms and gave it water from a syringe. The next morning the cuckoo was perkier, hopping about in the bath and preening itself 

Mr Ashton contacted the British Trust for Ornithology to have it checked over, logged and a ring fitted to its leg so its migration pattern could be monitored if it was spotted again

Read Entire Article