I feel like my new lack of internet means everything is old news by the time I get a chance to blog it. Sigh.
The other day Matt and I went for a walk in Hyde Park. It’s only a few blocks away and is also the place where we play outdoor soccer with Alex and his friends on Sundays. It’s a pretty small area, but there’s a pond and lots of trees I’ve never seen before. It is also bird central. There are black swans, mallards and native Aussie birds I’ve been seeing a lot since I arrived. I think the birds over here are the most interesting things I’ve encountered. Besides the pigeons and ducks, everything else seems unique to Australia. I even see parrots and other colorful birds in the trees on a fairly regular basis.
Not long into our walk, Matt noticed a lone little duckling running around in the bushes off to the side of the path. We couldn’t see any other ducklings around, though there were plenty of female mallards sleeping on the side of the pond. I went into the bushes and did everything I could to coax him back out toward the water while Matt googled what to do in this situation.
He learned we could pick up the duckling and gently cup him in our hands. The poor little guy was so scared, and cheeping like crazy for his momma, but eventually I was able to catch him. I think he’d worn himself out running around lost like that. Matt called a few people we know to figure out what we should do and I carried him around letting him chirp in the general direction of the sleeping ducks. None of them responded and it wasn’t long before we gave up on the idea of finding his mother.
I was getting pretty emotional at this point, not knowing how we could help him. Obviously he couldn’t survive on his own and apparently other ducks will sometimes kill abandoned ducklings rather than take care of them. We sat on a bench and Matt took over holding the little one while I called all the RSPCA and wildlife numbers we could find.
We’d just about given up hope when a kind old man offered us the phone number of a wildlife preservation society that specialized in caring for hurt and abandoned animals. He explained that they kept these animals until they were ready to be released back into the wild. I called the number and they said they’d be happy to take in our little duckling. I was beyond thrilled, but the place was a little far away, and we had to be at work soon. Lucky for us (and for little Byron, the duckling) the old man was happy to take him there for us. Apparently he’s a volunteer at the center!
I’ve resisted the temptation to call up the preservation society to make sure someone brought in a duckling. I’d rather just call this one a victory or I’ll certainly lose sleep over it. He was so adorable, I’m only sad we didn’t think to take a picture. Even though we were able to help him, I can’t help but feel sad when I think of him. Byron was so tiny. He had the cutest little beak and feet and tiny little nubs that will someday grow into wings. While we sat making phone calls he was fluttering off to sleep in Matt’s cupped palms. I miss him.
That was Tuesday morning. The only other news is that my basketball team lost its second game Monday night. I do think we’re improving though. I’ll make sure to include a picture of us in the next post!