Saturday, 7 October 2017

Rescue Day

Occasionally while birdwatching, us birdwatchers have to take up the role for a bit of rescue work...Strangely enough an afternoon at Long Valley had me trying to help two birds, there weren't anything interesting enough to distract me that day.

First bird was an Oriental Turtle Dove that for some reason couldn't fly. I saw that it had some mud on it's wings and tails and presumed it had been stuck in the mud. I caught it and washed off the mud that stuck it's primaries together. It also had some feathers missing from it's head, not sure how that happened. I checked it's wings and it didn't have any open wounds, so for whatever reason that grounded the bird, I hope it was OK after I let it go...although it is most likely going to be an easy prey for the cats. So, in a way this was not much of a "rescue".

Oriental Turtle Dove

Washing off the mud on it's primaries

My dad spotted a Black Drongo stuck in a muddy pond, it couldn't move it's wings and could only move it's head up and down while it struggled. This is most likely a result of it being overly confident while chasing insects and ended up stuck in the thick mud. It wasn't a pretty sight and when us birdwatchers see something like this it's always hard to just stand there and watch. I went over to a farmer lady nearby and asked whether I can borrow a pair of wellies, but she didn't have any that would fit me, though she was kind enough to walk over to the pond and help rescue the bird from the thick mud!

Black Drongo - more like a muddy duck

The nice lady to the left handed me the Drongo

It was covered in mud, and drenched. In fear that it might get hypothermia we quickly wrapped the bird in a handkerchief and rushed back to the public toilet at Ho Sheung Heung to hopefully dry it off. The hand driers proved to be very effective, although we got some weird looks from other gentlemen visiting the men's room...The bird was pretty feisty and kept trying to bite me as I was getting the mud off it's chest and throat, a good sign.

Good old hand driers!

Once it's feathers were dried enough we brought it back outside and as I was letting go of the grip to see if it could stand on it's own, it took off! It managed to fly up to the closest tree on it's own, which was a relief. It was still looking very scruffy and I couldn't get all the mud off it's head, but at least it would live. Hopefully, a lesson learnt for the Drongo.

Not the best looking Black Drongo, but alive!

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