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Wild Weather

On last Sunday morning,13th May 2018, I walked through my new chookhouse, still under construction but looking like the Taj Mahal already.

Three gates have cobbled together at the back to prevent (oh yes?) the chooks from accessing the work area.

As I went to open the only moveable gate to let the chooks out of their sheds, I noticed a small greyish- brownish blob in the corner against the concrete tank.

Taking a good look I realised it was an Australasian Grebe, Tachybaptus novaehollandiae, and a male, losing his breeding colours.

Now, if you can approach and pick up a wild bird it means one of two things; either it is on the point of death or it has knocked itself silly.

After the wild Friday and Saturday of galeforce winds and sleet I thought it was probably the latter- so I picked him up, suffering two rapid and savage bites from a rapier-like beak then rolling him into the front of my possum jumper.

Warmth and dark prevented any more attacks on my person and I transported him across to our big dam, parking him in the sun in long grasses under a bush.

After resting for a couple of hours, he took off straight into the water, diving and splashing around.

I have never seen a grebe on land before.

Here he is- the bare patch of skin at the corner of his beak confirms his identity.

Heavy winds take a toll on wildlife; a young magpie suffered a heavy blow and had an injured wing on Saturday too- she recovered fast so at least the wing wasn’t broken.

Big and unusually savage storms are another consequence of climate change

What luck, to end up in my chookyard, in reach of help. How many others are not so lucky?

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