Bird of prey takes flight after rescue by Lancaster water workers

The buzzard as it was found outside United Utilities’ Lancaster Wastewater Treatment Works.

A stricken buzzard found fighting for its life in an icy stream has taken wing around Lancaster again after a rescue by water workers.

The exhausted bird of prey was spotted by United Utilities engineer Carl Bryning on his way to work at Lancaster Wastewater Treatment works, near Stodday.

After calling colleague Mark Wilson to bring a box and blanket from the works, the pair waded in to scoop the desperate creature to safety.

“It was a horrible day and it must have been in the water for a while because it was quite subdued.  Its wings were fully open and there were no signs of an injury but it was freezing. We took it to a local vets. To be honest I didn’t think it would make it,” said Carl.

After observation at the vets, the buzzard was transferred to Wolfwood Wildlife and Dog Rescue at Ellel, where volunteers nursed it for crucial hours, administering treatment.

The bird was released at the weekend following a full recovery.

Wolfwood’s Stephen Wakelin said it was likely the bird had been stunned in a collision or had hit a power line.

“When it arrived it couldn’t use its wings and its legs were weak. At first we thought they might be broken but after giving anti-inflammatory medicine it fully recovered and we were able to release it. It’s a good ending,” he said.

In recognition of the charity’s work, and the impact coronavirus has had on its fund-raising, United Utilities donated £250 to Wolfwood.

Said Steve: “We are here because animals need us and we rely on donations like this. This buzzard was very lucky to have been found.”

Founded by Steve and his wife in 2007, Wolfwood rescues, rehabilitates and releases injured wildlife as well as caring for and finding new loving homes for rescued, unwanted and needy dogs. It works with local dog wardens, vets and RSPCA officers who bring animals from as far as mid Cheshire and Carlisle.

Donations can be made online at

Carl Bryning, who rescued the bird