Saturday 23 December 2023

Perimeter fence de-railed.

A very heavy early morning shower, after that mainly dry with occasional light showers. The west wind continues but not quite as fresh.

South shore (MD)
A more interesting late morning walk along the sea wall than yesterday.
Pale-bellied Brent goose 22 flew south along the shipping lane
Goose sp 11 -  probably Pinkfoot, were even further out heading south
Wigeon 250+ they were more happy to settle on open water today. These are some of them coming in to land by No 2 outflow.

Kittiwake at least 1 adult and 2 first calendar year behind the lunchtime ferry, although they didn't follow it into the harbour.
The Manxman approaches the harbour more quickly than the Ben my Chree did

Great Crested Grebe 1 in the harbour. It normally favours the area near the waterfall, but today it was in the middle of the harbour. Possibly taking advantage of the silt disturbed by the dredger. The dredger is the smaller red and white boat at the end of this clip.

Nature Park:
Finches 100+ around the small anemometer. Mainly Goldfinch but also several Chaffinch and at least 2 Bullfinch.

Water Rail 1 - this is what today's title refers to. Unfortunately, it had somehow become ensnared on the barbed wire on top of the Power Station perimeter fence.
Water Rail 3m high and the fence surrounded by brambles.
At this point I wasn't certain if it was alive or dead

This short clip shows it to be alive and struggling (I stopped filming as soon as I knew it needed help). You may find it harrowing, but don't worry it has a happy ending, for the Rail at least!

I needed to find something to lean against the fence for me to climb on to allow the Rail to be in reach. I eventually found a fence plank that had been dislodged. Even so, I could only just reach the bird with one hand while I pulled the wire down with the other. It was well entangled, but no sign of any blood, I eventually managed to free it with only the loss of a few under feathers.
A weary, but largely unharmed Water Rail
It would never have managed to free itself
Fortunately, the ideal release site was close by. The Nature Park pond is protected with dog proof fencing. I released it there, it didn't try to fly but scurried for shelter by the water, had a drink then a preen and found somewhere to settle down.
Looks so much better than dangling on a wire!

All the above was on the way out at 10:40. It was still resting at the water's edge when I returned at 12:15.
Although I would never have found it if I hadn't have known where to look

The blue circle shows where it had been, you can just make out the few remaining under feathers.
The arrow points to the plank I scrambled up. Not the best exercise for someone just recovering from
 sciatica, but if it sets me back, so be it. I couldn't have left the Rail as it was - Malcolm 

Imperial Rd (MD)
Just a quick afternoon stop off in passing.
Buzzard 1 
Little Egret 6