Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Bird training for wildlife carers - Reconnect with Nature

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time. 
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.

 
Sharing our knowledge: bird training for wildlife carers
 
One the roles l have within our volunteer wildlife rehabilitation group is presenting our training days.  Training is a big part of what we do within our organisation, and is the primary way of sharing the knowledge of more experienced carers with our newer members.   During the year we deliver around nine different courses, of which l present all but two of them.
Last Sunday l presented a brand new training course for our members called Birds 101.    
 

bird_training_for_wildlife_carers

During the Summer holidays (when l was obviously feeling really nice and relaxed) l had the great idea that we should develop a new training course.  The course would be the next step in knowledge of rehabilitating native birds, which are the main type of animal we rescue.  We'd focus on the four most common species rescued, and delve into the details of how they live in the wild, what they eat in the wild, why the commonly come into care, and how to feed and house them in captivity. 

I've jokingly said that next time l have such a great idea, someone needs to slap me as it ended up being a much bigger job that l remembered.  For the past four weeks , and particularly the past seven days proceeding, finalising this presentation has all but consumed me.  But it was worth it. 
On Sunday, l and another 18 wildlife carers, spent all day talking about Magpies, Tawny Frogmouths, Kookaburras and Lorikeets.     

So when l sat down to think how l have reconnect with nature this past week, this is what sprung to mind - sitting in front of a computer, working on the powerpoint presentation!  But the process of sorting through copious amounts of information, deciding what was relevant and the messages we wanted to convey about these animals was really worthwhile, and definitely refreshed my interest and knowledge of these four species.  And bottom line is that if it means the animals we rescue receive a better standard of care and treatment from our volunteers, all the effort was worth it.

Hope you've all had a chance to get outside this week and reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.

Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Portraits of my daughter - the 52 project (21/52)

{the 52 project}
A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015. 
Linking up with Jodi from Practising Simplicity.  

21/52

Portraits of my daughter - the 52 project
 
A photo from your seventh birthday party. 
Look at you shining there in the middle, surrounded by your closest friends. This is just before we went into the movies to watch Shuan the Sheep, before heading over to McDonalds for lunch.
Seven, can't believe it.  

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Red-browed Finch in care - Reconnect with Nature

{reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time. 
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.

 
Good things come in small packages: Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis)
 
Wildlife rehabilitation is a big part of our lives.  I've been a licensed carer for over 16 years now, and we rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife in our own home.  The most important aspect of what we do is reintroduce these animals back into the wild.  And now that we moved to an area suitable to release some native animals, l'm finally getting some hands on experience with this aspect as well.
A few weeks ago, this little guy came to our house for release.  He (or she) is a Red-browed Finch.   
 

Red-browed Finch

Without a doubt one of the smallest animals l've ever cared for, full grown one of these finches will weigh 11grams and be about 10-12 centimetres long.  I know, massive isn't he?
This little bird came into our rehabilitation group's care as a nestling.  Found alone on the ground, with no sign of its parents we brought it into care to be handraised.  The carer did an amazing job, raising it from a small dot but was unable to release it at her own home. 

Red-browed Finch

We have wild Red-browed Finches here, quite a large group of them that live along the riverbank.  They feed on grass seeds, and we often see them scavenging on leftover seed in the chicken coop on the riverbank. 
This little guy will be soft released - a process of gradually reintroduction where the animal can access as much support as it needs.  After a few weeks on site in an aviary, we will open the door and let the bird come and go as it pleases.  We'll continue to offer food and water, and it can use the aviary for shelter if it needs to.  Our hope is that it will join our local flock and get its second chance at life in the wild.
Fingers crossed little guy, your big moment is getting closer.


Hope you've all had a chance to get outside this week and reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.

Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post

Monday, 18 May 2015

Portraits of my daughter - the 52 project (20/52)

{the 52 project}
A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015. 
Linking up with Jodi from Practising Simplicity.  

20/52



Seven.  How did that happen? Where did that time go? 
Here you are opening your presents in Mum and Dad's bed, very early in the morning.
Beanie Boos, horse riding, How to Train Your Dragon, all part of who you are right now.     

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Day in the Life - Tuesday 12th May, 2015

{day in the life}
  Day in the Life captures the simple, everyday details of life in photos and words.  Developed and led by the wonderful Ali Edwards, it's an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge our life right now.  Read more about this project here



I’m a huge fan of the amazing Ali Edwards, and love to join in with her creative, memory keeping, journaling projects.  Day in the Life is an project that captures the simple, everyday details of life in photos and words. It's an opportunity to reflect and be grateful and acknowledge the beauty all around you.
5:30am When Ali chose the 12th of May as the day for Day in the Life, l got a little excited as it's Bella's birthday.  She was of course up early to open her presents. 
5:30am Bella's big surprise birthday present this year is a one-on-one horse riding lesson.  It's something she's wanted to do for a while and will be her first time meeting a horse. 


6:45am My usual morning routine involves feeding all the animals. After having gotten Bella her breakfast l head downstairs, firstly to my brand new wildlife rehabilitation space.  For those new here, we're licensed wildlife rehabilitators in Australia and care for injured and orphaned native animals in our home.
6:45am Meet Obi-Wan Kenobi, an Echidna we currently have in care.  Obi-Wan was hit by a car, and lucky to survive.  He's been with us now for about five weeks, and still has a few more weeks in care before being released again back into the wild.  
7am Of course there's the girls to feed too.  I've been giving them some hot 'porridge' in the mornings in a hope to kick their egg laying back into gear. Front and centre is "Lovey" one of the chicks we handraised last Spring.
7:15am Spotted soaking up some of the only early morning sunshine to enter our backyard. Max the Wonder Dog in his winter jacket. 
8am We're carrying special cargo today.  Twenty-four cupcakes to share with Bella's classmates and celebrate her birthday.   The back story is that our oven decided to die the night before, and we ended up cooking these in our Webber BBQ.  With nothing to loose, it was worth a shot and actually worked!

8:05am Remember these things? Apparently they're called a Chatterbox, l don't remember calling them that but l do remember how fun they were.
8:45am Birthday Day school drop off, and us carrying 24 precious cupcakes into her class.
9:30am This cup of tea.  My first for the day when l finally arrive at work. How good you were.
12:30pm I had planned to have lunch with an old friend, but she called in sick.  Without a packed lunch l headed downtown and decided to get a takeaway lunch from the cafĂ© we were going to try.  My word isn't Flock Espresso one of the greatest things to come to Lismore.   
12:45pm Back at work, having lunch at my desk.  Super yummy chicken and pesto toasted sandwich.
4:30pm An early mark from work because it was Bella's birthday and we were heading out for dinner.  Caught a magic sunset that l normally miss on the drive home.
6:15pm  Her choice of birthday dinners and us.  Uncle Mark and Granny Annie joined us at McDonalds and Bella remarked that almost her entire family were there.  And yes, we really are that small a family!
7pm And to finish the day a birthday cake to celebrate seven trips around the sun.  Happy birthday darling.
 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Fox foot prints - Reconnect with Nature

 {reconnect with nature}

A community of like minded people who see the value in understanding and appreciating the natural world.  Each week we step outside, find some nature, photograph it and learn something about it to share with others.  Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need and together we'll reconnect with nature, one photograph at time. 
 Read more about the Reconnect with Nature - one photograph at a time idea here.

 
The mud tells no lies - a fox visits our River Cottage  

For the past month or so we've wondered whether a fox has been visiting our River Cottage. 

It all started with finding two of our neighbors chickens dead on our side boundary fence. They are quite 'relaxed' with their chickens and let them wonder out of their yard and l doubt whether they are always locked up at night.        

It was actually our dog Katie that alerted me on both occasions that something had happened.  Our dogs are locked on the veranda at night, so they don't roam or hurt any nocturnal wildlife. As soon as l let them off in the morning, Katie was straight over to the boundary fence, sniffing furiously and walking back and forward.  Then she found what remained of both chickens.  With the last chicken, you could see where whatever had killed it, had dragged and fed before moving on again leaving a trail of feathers across the neighboring block.

Interestingly enough it looked as if the killer was not coming into our yard.  It was travelling along both boundary fences and along the river bank, almost going right around us.  

Then it flooded and our riverbank was left covered in thick mud.   
 

And as it dried out, the footprints appeared.



It was indeed a fox!

With the help of the internet we identified the tracks and it helped to know our own dogs hadn't accessed the riverbank (which is fenced separately) since the flood.  

Unlike other countries, foxes aren't native to Australia.  They were introduced for recreational hunting in the 1850's and since spread right across the country.  They're a cunning predator, and a major threat to many of our native animals.  In fact foxes are considered the primary cause of the extinction of many small and medium-sized rodents and marsupials in Australia.  So that, and the thought it would probably kill our own chickens, makes it public enemy number one.

Time to get some information on what we can do.   

Hope you've all had a chance to get outside this week and reconnect with nature.  Looking forward to seeing all your photographs.

Note to readers participating in the link up.

Please use the following points as a guide:
  • Share with us something you've noticed in nature. 
  • Only share one post per week, and link to that post rather than your general blog address.
  • If you can, please include something about your find that allows us all to learn more about the world around us. Just a few sentences about the tree you’ve photographed, or the bird you've seen, or how you’re noticing the seasons change is all you need.
  • Visit as many links as you can, amazing things are shared every week.  
  • And finally, please include a link back to Living a Good North Coast Life in your post


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Portraits of my daughter - the 52 project (19/52)

{the 52 project}
A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015. 
Linking up with Jodi from Practising Simplicity.  

19/52

Portraits of my daughter - the 52 project (19/52)

Wearing your Hello Kitty tights, purple gumboots a tie dyed shirt and Dad's hat - this is you at six, soon to be seven. Pictured here with Matilda during their visit at Easter.