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Archive for September, 2010

Just a quick update to say that the magpies were taken to Minton Farm today. There was a change of plans as today was the best day for them to go up there, as everyone was too busy on other days.

All four magpies are well; the youngest one is now with another around his age, while the other three are staying together. They will all be creched and then (hopefully someday soon) will be released together- forming a new tribe. I will miss them. 🙂

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The four young Magpies currently in my care are doing well. The two older ones are in a large Cocky cage (as we don’t have an aviary) and today the two younger ones are going to join them. Hopefully they will do well together; my main concern is that the younger ones may miss out on some food as they are only just starting to eat off the ground themselves. They may be slower than the older two. Soon, they will all sleep outside together too. At the end of the week, or mid-week next week, they will all hopefully be going up to Minton Farm, to join some other magpies in an aviary. There they will be creched, will learn how to be proper, independent magpies together- and then be released together.

Soon I will be going off-call for a little while, so this blog may be a little quiet for the next few weeks- until I go back on call. I may post occasionally on other things, but as I won’t be getting any animals in the posts probably won’t be on Fauna rescue.

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Today I got called out to rescue a duck that had flown through a window and into a shed. The woman who lived there told us that the window was already cracked; however, the duck must’ve been flying pretty fast to actually fly through the glass.

Both my mum and myself were worried that we’d find a duck covered in blood with broken bones, but we didn’t. The duck (I still don’t know whether male or female) was an adult Pacific Black Duck, and was walking around the shed quite calmy. Though, as soon as he/ she saw us come into the shed with towels and a cage he/ she tried flying, crashing into the wall.

Perhaps five or ten minutes minutes later, I had the duck in my arms (though he/ she wriggled out of the towel I had thrown around it) and managed to get him/ her into the cage. We couldn’t see any blood or immediate signs of injury so we took the duck back home for some quiet time, so he/ she could calm down.

After that it was a visit to the Vet, where it was very good news indeed. Actually, it was the news I was hoping to hear. A clean bill of health! (Pun not intended).

The lucky duck was then released into the closest body of water to where he/ she was found, and mingled in with the other Pacific Blacks. I love these successful rescues! 😀

Just a quick update on the magpie currently in my care. He (I say ‘he’ but could be a ‘she’) is eating well, so well he actually ate a large chunk of carrot that was in the dish with the mealworms I got him a couple of days ago. The carrot was meant for the mealworms, and I was worried he was having some difficulty swallowing it properly. He grabbed it just as I noticed it in the dish. Ah, well, he’s ok and is currently asking for more food *sigh* LOL

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I am being kept busy today! Had just finished writing the above when we got called out yet again. This time it was to pick up three Magpie chicks. The man had found them on that stormy day (Saturday?) on the footpath, their nest on the road. Today they had a Vet check at the RSPCA before we were called to come pick them up.

The man looking after them looked up what to feed them on the internet (What would we do without Google?) and had been looking after them since he found them, but as he is busy with work he will find it hard to find the time to look after the Magpies as they get older and need to be taught to learn how to forage for  themselves. However, he has done a very good job! 🙂

It seems, however, that the oldest of the three would be from another nest, as Magpies only have up to two chicks at one time and not three. We can only guess how the third was found with the younger two. It’s quite possible that his nest, too, was blown out of the tree, or he was blown or fell out of his nest, or perhaps his tree came down. We won’t know for sure. What is important is that these three are cuddling together and will now stay together. 🙂

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Just to inform any readers following the progress of my most recent rescue, the young magpie; yesterday I picked him up from the Animal Hospital as the vet gave him a clean bill of health. All he needs is feeding up a bit. He will stay in my care for at least the next week, and then he can be passed to someone with an aviary where he can learn to be a proper magpie- forage by himself and strengthen his wings. I’m glad he’s settled a bit now mind…he’s been making a racket for most of the day LOL

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I want a Pensieve. When I first read about Professor Dumbledore’s Pensieve ( a type of stone basin within which one can place and store thoughts and memories) in the Harry Potter series long ago, my immeditate thoughts was “Cool!”. Not long after that it was “I think I need one!”.

Been feeling like my mind has been overwhelmed from one thing after another. I’ve been feeling stressed about my work experience coming up because now I’m not sure when it’s going to be; because the person helping me set it up hasn’t got back to me for over a week now. I’ve been getting stressed over a friend of mine who seems to be having difficulties communicating with me. I’ve been feeling anxious about working on my goals- the main one being working on overcoming my Anxiety enough so it’s no longer so much of a problem for me. At the moment my main way of doing that is socializing more, and using Gradual Exposure to do so without overwhelming myself.

Another stress was my guinea pig, who was old, had sore feet and was eating less. As I knew was going to happen soon, he passed away on the 3rd of September, 2010 at age seven or eight years. 😦 RIP Fruity Bix ( Bix).

As I’m not sure any Pensieves exist in this Muggle world (or whether we Muggles could use them anyway), I guess I’m just going to have to make do with the more, erm, ordinary way of dealing with problems. Actually, I guess this blog is a type of Pensieve. I write things down, and I can always go back over them and see if I’ve missed anything…or just to ‘re-live’ any fond memories.

I’ve found there are a few ways which one can try to relieve worry and stress. Depending on the individual or worry they can be short-term or more lasting relief. The few ways I have tried are: Writing down a list and allocating time to think about the issues at a time where it won’t bring me more stress (i.e. don’t mull over your worries when you are trying to work or sleep), talking to someone you trust about the problem can be helpful. They are someone you can bounce ideas off of about how to deal with and work through a situation. They can also help console you and are often good at finding ways to see things you might not and clearing the picture a bit (basically, they bring fresh eyes to the siutation). Also, if you need some sense knocked into you, or are really freaking out and need a hand to hold or someone to hug you…Hey, that’s what friends are for, right? 🙂

If, however, I’m finding it too hard to write things down, or there’s nobody at the time to talk to, or I’m close to having an Anxiety or Panic Attack, I find just breathing helpful; taking deep, calming breaths (not too deep or I’ll get dizzy which is not the result I want) while counting backwards or visualizing something calming or something that makes me smile has helped give me quick relief before now. however, the down-side, for me at least, has been that I must start the breathing as soon as I realize I’m getting anxious, or I’ll find it difficult to calm myself. Also, I’ve had to continue the breathing for quite a long period of time before now to keep myself calm- which can make it difficult for me to concentrate on the task at hand.

Another way I’ve found helpful is distraction. If possible, distracting myself from whatever it is that is making me anxious and concentrating on something else. The down- side here is if whatever you want to distract yourself from requires a lot of concentration, then distracting yourself from that may not work very well, or be a very good idea. That’s when I revert back to the breathing…

What do you do when you find yourself feeling stressed or worried about something? Whether that be in general or to the point when you’re close to a full- blown panic?

A while back I wrote an “essay” (well, it is about fourteen pages long) of my Goals in Life. I wrote down what my desired goals were, how to get there, what potential ‘hurdles’ were in the way or could cause problems, and how to get over them. Several of my goals were tied in to each other. I’ve been working on these goals for about a month now. I think I’m slowly progressing (and that’s progressing forwards, not backwards- which is always good). 🙂 However, I may elaborate on this a bit more later, as this post is already lenghty and I would like to talk about something else…

Fauna Rescue:

Over the year the phone remains relatively quiet when it comes to receiving calles about injured, lost or orphaned animals. I’m rather limited in space, so I only take in the young, and I really only take in birds, lizards and turtles/ tortoises (well, my mum looks after the reptiles, and I tend to the birds). I may occasionally get a call about birds that have flown into something and have concussions, or lost parrots that can talk (someone’s lost pet), or a lizard trapped in a small pond and can’t climb back out again. However, the time of year I get the most calls is Spring. This is when most young birds hatch, therefore this is also the time they get into the most strife.

As you may have heard South Australia is had a lot of rain of late, and some stormy weather. We humans watch out for falling tress and power lines. Us Wildlife Carers also expect the calls for young birds being blown or thrown out of their nests, or being half- drowned in the rain (and other situations that can arise from stormy weather).

On the 26th of August mum and I received a call from a group of teenagers that had found a Magpie chick. they had been walking when they heard him hit the ground, having fallen or been blown out of his nest. We took him to the Vet, happy to take him into care if he survived the weekend. Unfortunately, however, he did not survive. We can only presume that he received internal injuires from the fall. 😦

On the 3rd of September, the same day my guinea pig died, we received a call about a Raven that was in someone’s backyard. They had to lock their dogs inside as the Raven would not take off and looked drenched to the skin from the rain. When mum and I got there, the raven was sitting on a chicken- wire fence around a garden patch, looked very wet indeed and did not take off. It was only young, a juvenile. Fortunately the next day he showed us he could fly a little (not too strongly but enough to be releasable). We took him back to the home he was picked up from and released him in the front yard. He flew to a low tree and called out to his parents. He tried flying again and, er, crash-landed on the ground but was ok. Suddenly both his parents were there, and, as he ran along the ground trying to take off again and calling to his parents, both is mum and dad flew from tree to tree, calling to him and encouraging him to climb/ fly up too. Last I saw he was doing  alright, and it looked as though his parents weren’t going to let him out of their sight again! 🙂

The most recent rescue was yesterday, the 4th of September 2010. This one was also a young Magpie (though older than the first one). By the sounds of it, he was cornered by a dog (but not bitten), and then the box he had been put in was knocked over by a cat, and then he was recaptured by the person who found him and then brought here to my place. Needless to say he was looking quite shocked when he arrived. I’m not sure the stress has worn off. He didn’t eat anything last night and his only conern this morning was to get out of the cage he was in; he panicked as soon as I uncovered him. Also, his faeces were looking too dark and sloppy for my liking. It looked as though he had diarrhoea, which may be from stress, or it could mean he is sick with something. I won’t know until the Animal Hospital I took him to calls me back.

Fauna Rescue itself can be stressful. “You win some, you lose some” my mum always says. She is quite right, of course. I used to get quite upset when an animal died in my care, or didn’t make it through the night at the hospital. I still get upset a bit, but not so much these days because it’s to be expected. We can’t save every single one. Not all of them can be helped. And I can’t dwell on the ‘why’ too much. Thinking ‘Did I make a mistake?’ or ‘I wasn’t good enough to save that little creature’ doesn’t help at all. So I concentrate on looking after the survivors to the best of my ability. Indeed, I think I have a rather good track record when it comes to ducklings and quite a few of the magpie chicks too. 🙂 Hey, I managed to look after seventeen ducklings right up until adulthood all at once last year! Hmmm, this years’ lot will probably be hatching soon too…

In a couple of weeks or so I’ll be going off call for a while, as I won’t be able to go out on rescues for a couple of weeks. However, if I already have an animal in my care during that time, I will continue to write about it here. 

Thank you for reading! 🙂

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