Sunday, 5 May 2019

Beach Rescue

Weather still wintry, but slightly better today.

 As usual at this time of year with adverse weather conditions for hatching birds, I carry the net to the riverside in case anything needs rescued. This was fortuitous today as I was told of stranded ducklings on the seashore with high tide and raging surf about to engulf them.

Myself and Trust member Donald (Aptly named today ), headed over to the West Beach to search for the ducklings. Was blowing a gale from the northwest, and seas were rough, crashing along the shoreline. I knew we were on the right track after seeing a mother duck flying along the shoreline, frantically looking for her brood. Donald spotted them just a foot or so from the tideline, barely discernible among the seaweed and stones, one was injured on it's back and the others huddled together. 

They were at the bottom of the high sea wall and would have been washed away at high tide for sure. I was hoping the mother duck would have spotted them and landed, as catching all would have been the best outcome. With the incoming tide they had to be rescued, or die in the surf. 

Donald successfully  managed to get all 9 of them, including the injured one. On closer inspection it looks like a gull or crow had bitten it on the head. I have put it in the incubator meanwhile, but doubt  it will survive.  

They are now safely in a pen with food and water, and being closely inspected by Disco and her brood. 

                    Incredibly the two previous rescued ones adopted by Disco - were showing the most interest in the newcomers, makes me wonder if they were aware that their real siblings are missing.

Don't know if I will be able to integrate these rescues with disco's brood now, as there is quite an age difference and could result in them being picked on and bullied. Will just have to see how things develop. One good thing that might work out, is there is one to hatch in the incubator in a weeks time, this I should be able to add to this rescued lot.  

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