Monday, November 16, 2009

To the rescue

There's a blackbird nest in one of our trees and this morning both parents were agitated, making that extremely effective irritating alarm call of theirs: cat, obviously. And there he was, Won Ton next door, sitting in the landing window just a couple of metres from the nest, chittering away and clearly there for the duration. What to do? His people were out, I couldn't throw anything at the window... but yes, I could! I grabbed the hose, turned the head to the jet stream setting, and let fly with a stream of water. Result!

The other bird rescue I was involved in this year was in South Australia, on a safari in the Gawler Ranges with Geoff and his wife Rene. We'd stopped for coffee on our 4WD drive through the bush and Geoff cocked his head, saying, "That's an emu." I could just hear something, more vibration than noise, but there was nothing to be seen - till, a couple of minutes along the track, Geoff slammed on the brakes and leaped down the bank to where he'd spotted a big emu upside down, its leg caught in a wire fence it had tried to jump. The emu grunted, Geoff grunted as he strained to pull the wires apart, the emu's other leg flailed about with its solid claws, and then it was free, running off with a bit of a limp. We did feel good.

Then we came across some more, and Geoff demonstrated how to get them up close for a photo: you make a fool of yourself to pique their curiosity. Who'd have thought it?

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