Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Thank you for your loyal readership throughout 2014.

The free offer for Noelle ended on 4 January 2015.  The pattern is available in my Etsy shop HERE.  Thank you for reading my blog, you never know when another freebie might pop up ;-)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Flycatcher - Second rescue successful!

After a while baby Flycatcher seemed to calm down.  I checked it over and didn't find obvious injuries.  It was kicking well with both legs and flapping its wings.  Henning fed it a fly with a pair of tweezers.
I moved the box outside.  In a few minutes it started calling for its parents and both answered.  I could see them flitting around in the trees.
Moments later the Burchalls cougal arrived on the scene and there was another fight.  I sent it packing.  Clyde is watching the tree to make sure it doesn't return.
The mommy bird coming to see if her child's OK.
Here she is on the edge of the box, bringing a bug.

A short while later the baby hopped out of the box and into the tree.
I'm going to take some work outside and sit under the tree for the rest of the day.  Someone's got to watch for that cougal!

Paradise Flycatcher - Update

Yesterday I got up at 4am and returned the Flycatcher baby to its nest.
About an hour later when checked on it, it was sitting on a branch above the nest.  The parents kept returning to feed it throughout the morning and all seemed to be well.
At around 1pm a Burchalls cougal arrived and tried to snack on the baby for lunch.  The parents kicked up a huge fuss and I was able to intervene and chase it away.
The cougal kept returning throughout the afternoon and I chased it away numerous times.
Meanwhile baby bird was being watched over by the parents and I was encouraged to see it taking small leaps between tree branches. I don't think it has enough pin feathers yet to fly, but it is certainly practising.
Last night all three Flycatchers slept together on a branch at the top of the tree and I thought all would be well.
Unfortunately this morning the Flycatcher parents got involved in a serious brawl with Burchalls cougal and we had to intervene once again.  I'm afraid there were injuries.  Henning picked up the seriously scuffed baby from the ground.  I have put it in a box to calm down and will check in a little while to see if it is badly injured.
It worries me that I don't see the mother bird.  The male is outside and calling. 
I will report back later.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Paradise Flycatcher

This little fellow is a guest of the studio tonight.  It's an African Paradise Flycatcher. 
We were very surprised and entertained on Saturday to discover a nest with two babies in a tree where we were sitting in the studio garden.
There were two babies in the nest and the parents were flying in with tasty bugs continously,  undisturbed by the humans at close range. 
On Monday we noticed that one of the babies has disappeared.  The other was healthy and had  noticably grown in two days.  It was filling up the entire nest.  I'm speculating that there was not enough room in that nest for two, and that it is a matter of survival of the fittest...
Here it is in its nest this morning.
And here it is late this afternoon.  You can see it in the middle of the picture, clinging on to a small twig for dear life.  It is only about 1 meter above ground, in danger of predators and exposed to the elements.   We had a storm with wind and icy rain.  It either decided to leave the nest, or was blown out.  For a while the parents brought it food and were frantically calling, trying to get it to move to a safer spot.  
When it became dark it was still on the same twig.  The parents went to sleep in the top of the tree.   I decided to intervene.  It would definitely not survive the night out there. I quietly sneaked up to it and removed it without a peep.  The parents don't know it's gone.
It will be an early call for me tomorrow.  I intend to get up at 4am and return it to the nest before sunrise.  I'm sure its parents will be happy to find it back in the nest, and I will have a peaceful (short) nights sleep, at least not worrying that it is dying out in the cold.
Hopefully tomorrow the sun shines and it can start with flying lessons!
Paradise Flycatcher pictures borrowed from Google Images.

Sleep tight my friends.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Who wants to play?

Who wants to play?  Saturday 13 December 9am till 4pm.  Come any time, leave any time, nothing to pay. 
The garden is cool and green, and there is lots of room and good light inside if it rains.  This is a wonderful opportunity to finish your hand made Christmas presents, or to catch up on PhDs (Projects half-Done). 
Please RSVP so that I have an idea how many people to cater for.  And don't expect too much, I still sometimes suddenly feel tired and need to sit quietly for a while... I am missing my friends.  I would love your company!