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Dozens of swans returned to river after oil spill

Dozens of swans, rescued after an oil spill on the River Kennet in Reading, have been released back into the water.

Volunteers were scrambled to help save the coated birds two weeks ago. Fifty-two swans were returned to the river - eight are still being cared for at the Swan Sanctuary. Mel Bloor has more details.

Ocean-going bird makes a long-haul flight too far

An unusual visitor has appeared in Sussex

It would be more at home in the Caribbean, but a huge seabird has been found washed up on the Sussex coast.

It's the first time a Red-footed Booby has ever been seen in this country.

The bird was on its last legs when an animal lover came to its rescue.

Now, the Booby is being nursed back to health, ready to be flown thousands of miles home.

Malcolm Shaw spoke to Richard Thompson of RSPCA Mallydams Wood, and Gail Cohen who found the bird.

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Nightingales are disappearing from countryside

Nightingales are one of the nation's favourite birds, but sadly their numbers are diminishing. They've fallen by 90 per cent in the past 40 years.

Now a team of scientists are using brand new GPS technology to track the birds' movements to understand why they're declining and what can be done to save the species. Tanya Mercer got up bright and early to join the team.

Berkshire birdwatchers reveal county's top five birds

Berkshire birdwatchers are seeing less blackbirds in their gardens Credit: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Berkshire birdwatchers took part in the world's largest garden wildlife survey, watching and counting birds during the 37th RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

The annual survey uncovers interesting changes among the most popular garden birds.

The Berkshire spotters found a drop in the numbers of blackbirds and starlings. There was an increase in the number of sightings of the house sparrow and goldfinch - in some cases by up to 33%.

Berkshire's top five most common garden birds in order are:

  • Blue tit
  • Woodpigeon
  • House sparrow
  • Blackbird
  • Starling

A lot of our favourite garden birds are struggling and are in desperate need of help. Gardens or outdoor spaces are an invaluable resource for many species. They can provide a safe habitat with food and water; having a significant effect on their populations."

– Ben Andrew, RSPB Wildlife Advisor

In his sights: should parakeets be culled?

A video company which has posted a guide on how to lure and kill parakeets has been criticised by an animal welfare charity.

There are some 30,000 parakeets in the South East, an invasive species, which are harming local wildlife and crops - according to some. And their numbers are growing all the time. Thanet, alone, is believed to have a population of many thousands.

But the RSPB has told us that shooting the birds is cruel - and an ineffective way of controlling their numbers. Sarah Saunders reports

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Parakeets invade South East: should they be shot?

Should they be shot? Credit: ITV

A video company which has posted a guide on how to lure and kill parakeets has been criticised by an animal welfare charity.

There are some 30,000 parakeets in the South East, an invasive species, which are harming local wildlife and crops - according to some. And their numbers are growing all the time . Thanet, alone, is believed to have a population of many thousands.

But the RSPB has told us that shooting the birds is cruel - and an ineffective way of controlling their numbers.

A full report, with Frad and Amanda, on ITV Meridian at 6pm.

Southbourne woman to be awarded for rescuing birds

Lynne Parker is from Southbourne in Dorset Credit: International Fund for Animal Welfare

A woman from Southbourne in Dorset is to receive a special award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at the House of Lords tomorrow, recognising many years of dedication to rescuing and rehabilitating injured or abandoned birds.

Lynne Parker has rescued hundreds of birds, both wild and domestic, over the last 21 years and is often called on by local vets, residents and rescue organisations to provide emergency treatment, food and accommodation.

She single-handedly cleans and cares for the birds until they are ready for release back into the wild where possible, or transferred to a local rescue centre to make space for new emergency cases.

She is creating a special ‘reproofing’ pool in her garden to ensure that birds affected by oil spills, or which have been traumatised, have regular access to water and do not lose the waterproofing on their feathers, which can occur when a bird is stressed.

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