Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A Cape Petrel fell out of the sky on to the deck of a ship!

Earlier in the month, a rainy cool "summer" day certainly turned out to be interesting! Firstly a call from the Port about a bird that had hitched a ride on a cargo ship sailing from Melbourne to Wollongong. Apparently they ran into a big storm out at sea and a bird "fell out of the sky" onto the deck of the ship. Luckily it was spotted by the crew and put into a warm box until they docked in Wollongong. It turned out to be a Cape Petrel and was placed in care very tired and  underweight. It's held in this picture by Australian Seabird Rescue volunteer Jessica.

Jessica holding the Cape Petrel which fell out of the sky on to the deck of a ship.

Cape Petrel
We had just about got home when another call came in about a diesel spill back where we had just come from, and reports of a distressed cormorant covered in diesel in the wetlands. So a big U-turn and off we went. On arrival all the relevant chemical hazard vehicles were there with flashing lights etc.
The cormorant was in the channel of the wetlands by now and the only access was through the bush and lantana with calf deep water into the reeds. The continuous rain didn't help but after an hour of firstly locating and then working out how to get him, the bird was caught drenched in diesel. He wouldn't have lasted the night. A big thank you to Jessica who got a lot of scratches from the lantana and ruined a pair of shoes! Thanks also to the other people who helped us with the cormorant.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Fundraising BBQ at Shellharbour

A light hearted look at another side of Australian Seabird Rescue. We are all volunteers and need to raise our own funds to purchase medicines, equipment and fish for rescue and rehabilitation of these magnificent birds of our oceans and shoreline, plus other marine wildlife. This is done by way of markets stalls, raffles and BBQ's. So here's some of our gang at the latest "sausage sizzle" on a cold damp day. Thanks to all members who helped in successfully raising over $1000. 

On the same day we rescued 2 injured seagulls and a pelican who had a triple hook lure in his leg. All are OK. 3 out of 3 is a good result!


Thursday, 8 December 2011

The first day of summer saw the Australian Seabird Rescue phone running HOT!

A big effort by Leonie in the kayak and then hitching a ride with John on his hovercraft saw a handsome pelican rounded up. He had a hook and lure deeply embedded in his leg, and line through his wings. So it was off to the veterinarian Col Pinney, who removed the hook. The pelican is now in care with a very sore leg but will be back in the wild in a few days.
Then a call about a bird at Windang also with a hook who has escaped capture - but we will get him - patience!
A call then came in about a sick bird on the other side of the lake. As we were already on the road after our trip to the vet we continued on to Windang. This was a little female with botulism. She is now in care and after a few days should be OK.
A big thanks to Leonie and to John in his hovercraft and also to Vet Col Pinney for attending the bird straight away.
7.30pm and time to settle down for the  night - WRONG! A call came about a pelican with a hook in his chest. We attended but it is almost impossible to catch a bird at night so we'll get him at sunrise. Whilst that was happening another call came about an injured bird at Port Kembla - off again. Sadly this turned out to be a seagull that died on the way home.
All in a day's volunteering and loving every bit of it!!


Hook & lure embedded in pelican's leg

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A Gulp of Cormorants!

There's been a run of cormorants recently. On the weekend of 20th November, Australian Seabird member Kirsten, took a trip to a Caringbah vet (about 60km from Wollongong). Unfortunately this handsome cormorant had a broken wing and had to be euthanized.
Whilst we were manning our regular market stall at Kiama a call came about a cormorant in distress in the shallows. Unable to leave the markets, the gentleman caught him and brought him to us. Unfortunately he died overnight with lungs full of water.
Then on the 28th November another of our members, Val, retrieved a cormorant from Stanwell Park Beach on the edge of the Royal National Park. She took him to the vet who assessed he was exhausted and a bit underweight. He was transferred to Wollongong the next day into care for a bit of R & R and free fish. While we were feeding him he took at a swipe at Leonie and caused a surface cut. Boy are they fast!
On the same day returning from a pelican rescue, a call came in about a cormorant in a backyard not near a waterway. The beautiful pied boy in the photo had lost his way, so we took him to the harbour.
Both the Stanwell Park boy and the little pied were last seen happily fishing amongst their pelican friends.
Thanks to Kirsten, Val and Leonie.

Leonie with the cormorant who had lost his way!