Wednesday, December 10, 2008


with birds, with bird calls, with bird rescues....summer! I have more home dwellers than most of the volunteers at the centre because of my passion for the unloved ferals and mynahs, but it doesn't prevent me from having other species around too. Tonight's total is 30, all needing regular feeding, daily cleaning, and for the mynahs who are being hand-raised as pets, as much cuddling and contact as possible.
Oh, and in between the birdlets, there's still some paid work that needs doing. And some dude time, for which I'd ditch almost anything. He had family visiting last week, so didn't get to see him from weds till monday - and he was sorely missed. Don't know how I am going to survive two long weeks away in Jan, nor the whole festivity of Christmas and New Year when it's likely I won't be able to see him much. Guess the best thing about deprivation is the hugely satisfying reunion.

For fun and distraction on Sunday, I got roped into an Egyptian Goose rescue. Said EG family have taken over a building site on which no building has been done for about a year. So there's a 5 storey deep hole, with lots of murky water at the bottom, random bits of concrete and earth, and lots of steel bars and odd debris. Plus, for the last couple of months, a family of twelve geese who are now approaching flight time. The local offices and security staff have been helping one of our volunteers with feeding and watching them, and a few days ago one of the babies was seen with a broken wing. Rescue attempt was arranged: my boss, two guys in kayaks, and me and my goose-catching buddy because we've already proved our lack of sanity and willingness to humiliate ourselves in public....and down we went. There's a scaffold down the side of the pit, so getting in was OK. Then it was into the chest deep water that is full of yucky things and silt and nice obstacles to fall over. We managed to herd (mostly due to the kayaks) the injured gosling into a corner fairly soon, but all the geese were ducking under the water and coming up in different spots. This one did the same, and we waited for him to reappear. And waited. As we were beginning to think he'd slipped past us, bosslady saw a bubble about ten feet ahead of me. I went closer, tripped over a large concrete block, and as I put my hand down to try recover my balance, I felt something soft. The sensible half of me almost levitated right out of the water before whatever it was ate me. The rehabber half realised it was a goose neck, and that he was stuck under part of the block...dropped to my knees and felt for his body, hauled him out and held him head down to get the water out. Just as I was wondering how many breaths goose-CPR involves, he spluttered and held his head up. And there I was with a soggy gosling clutched to my chest - thank goodness it was the injured one. He has been checked out, and although it's a bed fracture, we all feel too proud of him to consider euthanasing him, so he will be rehomed to a safe conservancy with good grazing and lots of water. After which we all climbed up the scaffold, back down again because one of the others was in a smaller hole with steep sides and couldn't get out, up again, and went home soaked but satisfied. An exciting end to a busy week...

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