Sunday, October 25, 2020

Rescue mission accomplished

 Good afternoon dear Blogger friends. Ambrose was right; I have a great story of success to share.

On Monday morning before going off to the farm office across the lawn, I walked into my bedroom. On the floor was a baby sunbird. It was cowering in between Missy and Chappie who were watching it intently from each side. 

I scooped it up and examined it closely. Although its heart was beating furiously, it seemed unharmed. I  found a small cardboard box into which I put the bird on a wad of cotton wool and took it to work with me. 

My charge safely ensconced in a box in my office

I'd identified the bird as a juvenile Amethyst Sunbird.

All morning I kept an eye on the little bird, once even dribbling a little water into its bill. These birds have the longest tongue and their young have tongues which resemble a thin, ultra thin nylon string.  Earlier this year, I rescued a juvenile sunbird and its tongue had protruded all the time; that little mite died. This bird retracted its tongue after drinking so I was hopeful it would survive.

The problem was where to release it. In the garden around my office, Jock the neighbor's Labrador, would pounce on the bird should it topple from the branch I placed it on. Back home: ditto with three cats watching as well.

As I walked home with the box in my hand, I saw Derryn, my young neighbor on my right, watering the garden. I called her from the gate to see have a looksee at my bird. She oohed and aahed and when I told her Thandi and I would be going up to my accommodation to prep for the next guests, she offered to keep the bird at home. 

When I returned that afternoon, Derryn met me at the gate again, saying the little bird was very perky. She suggested we wait until it was cooler and release it in the garden below their swimming pool. There is a nectar bird feeder at the fence and the sunbirds flit from my garden with it's plentiful Tecomaria blooms which the sunbirds love to the neighbor's garden to partake of the delicious sweet juice offered there! 

At 4.30 I went across to Derryn's home where her parents Janine and Gavin were sitting on the patio next to the pool waiting to watch our rescue mission.

I took a photo of the little bird which lay prostrate in Derryn's hand. 

The little sunbird lay quietly in Derryn's hand 
Derryn placed the little bird on a branch of a polygala shrub - quite a large tree within a few meters from the nectar feeder  
It gripped the branch strongly and  we moved back to the patio to watch if it would fly off or was it gripping the perch in terror  (we were hoping for the former)
Within seconds an Amethyst sunbird male landed on the branch above the juvenile. It opened its bill and frantically called to the adult bird. However the male flew off over the house roof in the direction of my home
Two minutes later a  female flew over the roof towards over the baby, landed on the bird feeder and took a sip of the nectar. I was photographing the young bird's reactions and missed the female's actions 
She flew back to the juvenile who spread its wings quivering and expectantly opened its bill 
And she fed it a few  drops 

By now you can imagine the jubilation and elation of the humans watching this heartwarming tableau. While we were debating whether this was the juvenile's mother who had found it after the male had alerted her, the juvenile launched itself off the branch and flew over the house towards my garden - the female sunbird in tow.  
A picture of the sunbird nectar feeder with a male Amethyst Sunbird  about to have a sip 

Bliss is the neighbor's watering hole for sunbirds! 

The moral of the story is that we managed to release the juvenile sunbird back into the wild. Times before I have rescued birds and they have died before I could release them. This mission had a real feel good ending! Thank you, Derryn for your help! 

I'm linking to Saturday Critter with Eileen here


Ambrose getting in first

 Good morning Mum's blog reader; this is Ambrose and I'm getting in first with my post. Mum has a post about a birdie which she says she found sitting on the bedroom floor. I smell a cat er, a rat. 

Chappie peeking around the butchers block to see who's at the door
I had been outside looking in but ran off before Mum took the photo. I sleep out on the patio chair most nights 
Skabby sleeps against Mum's bed at night
Missy enjoying the linen Mum left on the floor before washing it
Mama lying on the other beeeeg sheet behind Missy. They are great friends 

We kitties and Skabby are doing well and being very well cared for

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Ambrose at the helm again

 Good morning Mum's blogger friends; this is Ambrose - AT LAST! Phew I couldn't get near Mum's laptop as she is very busy with her business. She says she has holiday guests arriving regularly at her unit which we're all glad about. 

Skabby the dog and I in his tire just outside the house door 
Mama in Mum's bedroom 
Missy in a box on Mum's bed! 
Chappy drinking from one of the outside water bowls 

Life is really good for the Hedges kitties and dog. 

Wildflowers, garden flowers and baby calves

 Good morning Blogger friends; summer has arrived in the Southern Hemisphere and we've enjoyed our first rains. 

Close up rains drops on my wash line ...
...and on the Banskia rose
I spent an age outdoors snapping these drops! 
Gaura lindheimeri 
Thandiwe's protective cage around the shrubs - against heavy dogs! 
I have this beautiful shade in the Gaura lindheimeri 
I used a discarded wine rack to protect my geranium from a dog bounding across it when he barks along the fence! 
A teeny wildflower in the lawn

Passing the dairy while on the top farm road, Skabby and I stopped to admire a newborn calf (the brown cow was visiting Mum, the black cow, at maternity! 
The calf showed scant interest in its surroundings! 
Mum checking up on her baby while the visitor turns to leave 
Skabby was very hot and uncomfortable before his grooming

I stopped to photograph a profusion of wildflowers along the road 
A lighter shade 

Back home I snapped my Budleja 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here 


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

We've been groomed!

 Good morning dear Blogger friends. At last Skabby has been shaved and groomed. I say "at last" because the last grooming he had was on 16 December 2019.

He was due for a summer clip again in August. However, many things prevented our traveling grooming parlor to get here. Eventually yesterday was the day for dozens of Valley pooches to be groomed.

I have posted a photo of Skabby before clipping here below. He actually grows a double pelt which is fine for winter. But as the weather warmed up here in South Africa, my darling dog shed hair all over the place. 

A very wooly dog with a double pelt 

After his clip this week! 
The boy was so chipper and relieved to be cool
Sprawled on the lawn after plodging 

A very happy dog! 

I know Internet availability is not an issue to many people; but wow, I have really been challenged recently. I eventually drove through to the nearby town of Estcourt, visited my friend, Mo from More Magic Computers and purchased a decent router.

Life is much better now with decent internet !


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Cows and a kitty in the paddock

 Good afternoon dear Blogger friends. I have been around, but  end of crop season in the farm office has kept me busy. Nevertheless, Skabby and I still manage to get out for our daily walk. Last week, while I snapped the cows grazing with the mountains as a backdrop, I looked towards the bales in the next paddock and saw a cat. It had its eye on Skabby who was blissfully unaware of it, thank goodness. 

We love watching the cows in grazing the lush grass 

A  cat on the bales to one side of the paddock we were exploring 

I zoomed in and got a great pic of the solemn looking cat! 

The mountain peaks were a bit hazy today 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here

Sunday, October 4, 2020

A walk on the farm

 Hi dear Blogger friends; I have solved my Internet problems. I will post about this shortly.

Meanwhile, Skabby and I continue to walk on the farm. 

Grey Heron 
Thembinkosi operating the Fiat tractor 
Skabby and I had fun! 
A bucolic scene 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here