News on Oscar and Camilla. Oscar has had an X-ray, and is carrying a load of buckshot, plus wire in his gizzard. Their treatment continues, but Camilla, as the younger bird, is making the better recovery. Oscar had only just walked out of his pen for the first time on Thursday, and is still on a knife-edge. The whole of the week has been a glorious Indian Summer, and there are still Dames Violet, Red campion, Evening Primrose and Bloody cranesbill out. The Dogwoods on the entrance area are half claret- coloured Autumn leaves, and half green with new blossoms!
Medical bulletin on the swans. Lis Dorer wrote thanking WWA for the donation, and will keep them through the bad weather to ensure Oscar's survival. Several very large frogs found during harvesting -- late to bed but not harmed, thank goodness. Sparrowhawk flew over, unfortunately clutching a small Songbird in its talons.
Great alarums and excursions on Saturday. One personal and 2 phone calls to Site Manager to say that a swan was stuck in the garden of No 210 Riverside Road, with the householders away. Duly arrived (before 9 a.m. ugh!) to find (I think) 'Guinevere' swan, looking rather shaken, in the narrow garden. Apparently, she and 'Arthur' had been flighting off the Mere when she had panicked, gone nose-up, and abruptly stalled out. She had crashlanded, and run, beak and crop first, into a wood fence. She was OK, but refused to be 'shooshed' through the fence and into the Orchard, so draped her in my fleece, and carried her unceremoniously back to the Mere. The reunion with her mate was ecstatic, graceful and very touching. Fed them both Some grub and all soon settled down. Both were doing well at a check later in the day. Sunday they were gone again.
Lots of tits all round the site, especially bold Long tailed tits; also many finches and robins. Squirrels rushing around the site, all fat and sassy in the clement weather. Ducks manic all day -- eaten so much bread they were bobbing about like bath ducks and having to work in a furious and comical fashion to dive for food. Swans have been back off and on, so they have taken no harm from 'Guinevere's' crashlanding last week. Muntjac is back on site, and has been delicately sipping from one of the garden pond in Riverside Road. Leaas are still on the trees and it's nearly December - remarkable. There are still blooms on White dead nettle, Dogwood and Yarrow.
Next report (December 2001)