Sunday, 16 October 2016


AUSTRALIAN SEABIRD RESCUE South Coast team member, Lisa, was asked to look out for a pelican (about an hour south of Wollongong) which had a lot of fishing line around his legs and was having trouble walking.

Whilst looking for this bird she spotted a female pelican with holes on both sides of her pouch and a nasty wound to her head.

Having already met Lisa half way to collect a big male with a swollen leg that she and ASR Clare had caught and were bringing back to Wollongong, we decided if she caught the female with the holes we would ask our good mate Judy at Pyree who is with Wildlife Rescue South Coast to babysit her overnight.
Well, Lisa, caught the bird and Judy ‘baby sat’ her and kindly transported her half way to Wollongong for team member, Julie, to go down and collect her next morning.

Great team work all round and thank you everyone.

The bird has now had an operation to repair the damage, but, WHY!   The injuries were confirmed by the vet to be a BULLET!  What sort of satisfaction could this lowest form of humanity get out of shooting a harmless, defenceless creature.  She will recover but it should never have happened and one shudders at the cruelty of this warped mind for cheap thrills.
Pelican with bullet holes in pouch

By the way, Lisa, went back and caught the original bird – fixed him up and released him.  Well done, Lisa, three birds in one morning.

Thank you again, Judy (Wildlife Rescue) for housing the bird overnight and to Julie (ASR and Wildlife Rescue) for collecting her.  She is now in care for 10 days with stitches that need to heal.

Once again, if anyone sees or hears of cruelty against our wildlife both aquatic and terrestrial, please contact the Police and Australian Seabird Rescue or Wildlife Rescue who will rescue the animal – even if you think it is a false alarm.
We would rather go to ten false alarms than one dead creature.



A distressed call came in from a member of the public about a Royal Spoonbill caught in the reeds.  It seemed to have an injured leg.
On locating the bird and seeing the horrific injuries, Julie asked the woman to look away.

This poor juvenile Spoonbill had been attacked by a person or persons or worse still youths.  Its legs had been struck across the ‘knees’ with such force that both legs had been smashed with bones protruding and it was left to die in agony, bleeding.

These majestic, unassuming birds spend their time quietly foraging along the shoreline for shrimps and molluscs, etc.  This juvenile was probably ‘learning the ropes’ when he was attacked by one or more monsters, having no reason to fear humans, not knowing that some low life would hurt him.
But – is this what we are becoming – uncaring, cruel monsters.
Needless to say the poor thing was immediately euthanised and I apologise to Julie that she had to witness this cruelty.  If anyone has any information please contact ASR.

Spoonbill with broken legs

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Are you kidding?

A distressed call came in from a member of the public about a baby goat on a local break wall and he was crying. She had rung the RSPCA and was told to ring Australian Seabird Rescue as the RSPCA does not have a boat.

This was approx 11am and being an area I patrol every morning this poor little kid was not there at 6am and can be confirmed by the local pro fisherman.
Some monster has dumped this poor little creature on the break wall with no food or means of escape surrounded by water.

A quick phone call to ASR team member Julie and my good friend local vet Joanne from Kembla Grange Vet Clinic we were all there within 15 mins.
RSPCA decided to attend and I assume contacted the fire brigade and police for help. This was quickly turning into a “circus” but ASR Julie and vet Joanne took control of the situation simply paddling the ASR kayak over and rescued the kid.
Returning to shore vet Jo checked him thoroughly before handing him over to RSPCA, who had no idea on how to capture him. But to know there are people out there capable of this type of cruelty is very distressing! Sadly this is not the first time animals have been dumped on this same break wall. Over the years we have had 2 sets of domestic ducks and 2 dogs all on different occasions and now this!
Baby goat safely back on dry land having been rescued from stranding on the breakwater.

Baby goat goes for a ride in the ASR kayak!

We have to stop people buying “that cute little thing” and then tiring of them. But why condemn them to terror and uncertainty when they can take them to the local pound and surrender them.
Have we really become such uncaring monsters?
Thank you again Julie and Joanne this little cutie now has a chance at a happy life.


How did this happen?

A late call came in about a pelican in trouble. I jumped on the phone to new Australian Seabird Rescue team member Hanna (being the closest) who didn’t hesitate to come and help.

A very big very handsome pelican somehow found this 7cm shark hook with a 28cm skin of a fish attached embedded in his side.
Mysteriously no line attached to the hook!
Large hook with skin attached embedded in the side of a pelican.

Has some fisherman been cleaning fish and thrown this hook with no care or more likely Mr Pelican has taken someone’s fish out of the sea and they have cut the line?
Either way – why!

The weight and size of the hook had torn the birds side as well as the length of the fish skin causing him to tread on it aggravating the situation.

Unfortunately they had been fed and weren’t interested in what we had to offer. So next morning team member Julie and I returned and caught him quickly.

This injury could have been so easily avoided. Please enjoy your fishing but be careful and do not feed the birds. Let them go back to the wild and hopefully stay out of trouble.

Thanks again to Julie and Hanna.


Monday, 11 July 2016

Welcome Jules

A desperate call came in to Australian Seabird Rescue about a pelican unable to move very much and blood on its wing, located on an island in Lake Illawarra. It was freezing cold and gale force winds but the bird had to be rescued. With only 2 experienced kayakers (one at work and the other hesitant) and me not well enough to even attempt it – a dilemma!

I remembered that new team member Julie mentioned she had a kayak. I rang to see if she could help. Without hesitation she said yes even after I said she was going to get cold and wet. So off we went, 2 on the kayak to the island. This poor female had her right wing smashed and almost severed. Without any trouble we picked her up and Julie paddled us back to land then off to the vet to be sadly euthanized.  Presumably she had been blown in to the bridge or an overhead cable that straddles the lake. But without Julies help she would have died a slow horrible death as the ravens would have found her. So a big thank you to Julie and welcome aboard.


Thursday, 9 June 2016

Kerguelen Petrel

This very rare pelagic bird breeds in the Southern Atlantic and Southern Indian Oceans. It was unknown in the Australian region until a specimen was found in 1926. It is often seen among the pack ice but seldom seen in Australian seas. However – this poor bird was caught up in the “perfect storm” being blown across from the big system in West Australia then caught up in the East Coast low that caused havoc over the weekend of the 5th and 6th June. It must have been like being in a big washing machine – scary for a 36cm bird with a wingspan of 81cm.

The rare Kerguelen Petrel blown into NSW South Coast shores during a storm.

He was found in a backyard at Callala Bay approx 1 1/2 hours south of Wollongong.

Not being able to identify him from the photos I asked Australian Seabird Rescue team member Lisa to send photos directly to Lindsay of Southern Ocean Seabird Study Association (SOSSA) who is an absolute expert on seabirds. Lindsay wanted to measure the birds feathers etc for absolute identification. So he drove an hour south (for which I am very grateful) and Lisa drove 45 mins north to meet and for him to bring the bird back. He of course was correct in his identification from the photos but found the bird to be only half the weight he should be. Due to the rarity of the bird Lindsay looked after him through the night but he just didn’t have any fight left in him and very sadly died quietly. He is now off to the Australian Museum in Sydney for display.

A great big thank you to Lisa for collecting and transporting him and Lindsay of SOSSA for driving south to bring him back and care for him.

It has to be stressed again the importance of getting these seabirds to specialist care and identification. Dead birds are invaluable also for research.


Cute Cygnet

A call came in to Australian Seabird Rescue at 16.30 from a member of the public who had also rung WIRES regarding 2 cygnets separated from the parents. Apparently the parents had removed 2 babies and would have come back for the others if this woman had not interfered. Unfortunately she lives near this waterway and has a reputation for interference and not understanding wildlife. In fact National Parks and the police were called last year for the same thing. What she is doing is quite illegal and feeding the birds is also illegal particularly feeding them white sliced bread definitely not good for them. The result of this inference was that a member from WIRES sat cold and freezing until 18.30 hrs to watch over them. Unable to help as it was also pitch black I told her I would go at daybreak next day.

On arrival mum and dad with 2 babies were in an adjacent pond and 1 cygnet alone and frightened apparently the other must have been taken by a fox. With steep slippery sides at the site I rang our co-ordinator Kirsten to come put the kayak in.

It was all over in 10 minutes and baby happily reunited with parents and siblings. At 4 days old this would have been a terrifying experience for this little one. So please people – nature really does know best so unless there is apparent danger interference often causes more stress.
Thank you to Kirsten ASR and Kristy WIRES for helping.


Family happily reunited.