Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Bird Whispering

Well I really feel there's not alot to entertain you with.. I'm obviously not doing an awful lot!
However, word has spread amongst the local bird population and I have had fledglings lining up at my bedroom door!
Literally, the other night there was one waiting for me and then in the morning, another one was there! These two were house martin or perhaps swallow babies, already feathered but only able to flutter downwards (hence ending up at my bedroom door as its downstairs).
We put them back into their nest and left them hopefully to it, whilst keeping a close eye on the movements of our 3 cats..
Through my limited experience I could tell they weren't ready to fly properly but the parents clearly didn't agree and came and went calling and flying away encouraging their babies to follow..
After finding them several times on the floor again, I put them into our birdcage and hung it close to the nest with the babies inside and the door open, but sadly later on we found one dead and the other almost hanging from it's feet clamped on to the cage doorway..
Up until this point I had been careful not to take the babies directly under my wing knowing that I was still on the rebound from my last affair, reminding myself that the babies were better off with bird parents, but at this point I decided it was time for auntie Niki, the bird whisperer, to step in.
I righteously brought the remaining baby in and revived it with a very diluted saline solution using a soaked cotton bud and dragging it around the sides of its beak.. It remained lying down in a flopped position all afternoon but gradually regained strength by evening when I began to almost force feed it, opening its mouth gently and putting a dead fly down its throat.
It's always a surprise when you find your patient still alive in the morning and throughout the next day it began feeding voluntarily, I could hardly keep up with it's needs, trying to kill flies has varying results, clapping your hands just above them can work every time, but sometimes it doesn't work any time and I seemed to be getting worse at it rather than better!
The next day, Mark pointed out that the parents were still flying in and out of the back room looking for baby, so I decided to set up the cage with its door shut in the back room on a pully system so that I could continue to feed it.
The family reunion was a lovely sight and to my amazement after a couple of hours from my hidden view point I saw the parents feeding baby through the bars of the cage!
Happy to be able to give up my haphazard fly hunting occupation I have since left them to it and will open the cage door when baby is ready to take to the wing!

Remember I'm doing all this stealth work on crutches, perhaps amusing to imagine me watching from various hide outs standing on one leg until I have to break cover and go to sit down.
Regarding my leg, which I'm thoroughly bored with dragging around, I have had two panicked hospital trips both caused by unqualified but well meaning medical staff, both verbally horrified by the state of the bones in my leg! One being the local doctor and the other the X-ray man.
PLEASE! I really am better off not knowing! Though I did actually catch a glimpse of the X-ray myself and it does look a bit messy.
I have been reassured by the specialists that it is doing really well, they say I can put weight on it now and almost told me off for not having done so already!
I am trying, its the mind that gets in the way.. A good trick is to shorten the crutches, making ground contact unavoidable and weight bearing more likely.
Marks foot too is still painful and swollen, he can walk with a limp, but now and again he makes a wrong move and sets it back. Of course he is having to do all the chores and be at my beck and call (possibly his worst nightmare!), but he is doing a splendid job.
People have said, if you two can get through this you can get through anything - well so far, so good!

The horses, by the way, are enjoying a summer break, fat and lazy, all day spent in the stable out of the sun, free range for whatever grass they can find in the evenings & in their paddock over night.
I miss them, you just have to give them up when you have a bad injury, its not wise to go in their midst on crutches, not because they are bad horses or anything, but they bicker sometimes, or just move each other around and one just can't move quick enough on one leg..

Right, I'm off to try and walk again...

The photos show the horses in the stable staying out of the Sun.. 

And a rather artistic photo of baby bird with mother bird swooping down to encourage baby to fly.. Today, baby flew away! 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

What reason?

Its a shambles up there! I once nearly wrote a book, maybe I'll finish it one day (don't nick my story anyone) but those fate operators are just as messed up as we are...

We're riding to England! we're not riding to England, I'm really fit! I break a leg, I saved a bird! I didn't save a bird.
I gave it 3 weeks of life - it flew! It got killed by the cat.

Small consolation (mainly for Mark) that the morning after HE left the door open allowing the cat to get in, the front door had been pushed in by the dogs before either of us got up, meaning that the cat would have got birdy the next day anyway.
She was in a bird cage for her protection, but the cat must have jumped up on to it, breaking the loop which hung off the ceiling, bringing it all crashing down and breaking the base off..
Poor birdy was nowhere to be seen, we never found her or her feathers..I hear sparrows outside and still go out to whistle for her...
It is possible that she got away somehow and is out there flying with her friends between the trees...ojala!

A bit more about birdy before I close that chapter..
She turned very quickly from that ugly bald thing into a beautiful soft feathered friend, she gave me so much joy! Her eyes opening, feathers growing, her first preening, perching and then her first flight, all within a little more than two weeks!
When I whistled, she chirped back, she learned to swing, jump and fly from perch to perch with amazing agility! Two or three times a day, we closed the door, pulled the curtains and turned the lights on so that she could fly safely about the house, often returning to land on my nose, not surprisingly the most perch like feature on my face (& possibly in the room!).
She was nearly ready to go free, not quite feeding herself and not yet able to fly far without losing altitude.
Just a few more days would have been enough... So sad.

So back to the 2000 mile aisle, as Mark said, we did 200 of them..
The next 1800 we plan to do next year!!
We've postponed the wedding, we're keeping Lorna and we're going to do it all next year!!!
None of our purchases and preparations will be wasted! We can go back to that wonderful place called freedom! The open road! The adventure! Every day new and different! Just us and the horses.

Just have to wait out summer and winter...
..and learn to walk again..
..and get back on the horse..
..and forgive Mark for birdy..