This is vague because I'm relying on memory, nonetheless, here goes:
Sometime, within the past 10 years or so, I read an amazing account of a
wild bird seemingly seeking help from humans. The circumstances were quite
similar to those described by Maurits. A couple were standing on a beach or
lakeshore when a bird - can't recall what species - swam toward them, came out
of the water and walked up to them. I think it was entangled in fishing line or
had a fish hook stuck in its body. Anyhow, the people were able to relieve it of
the problem and it swam away.
I'm sure this occurred in Australia, and I'm almost certain I read
of it in The Bird Observer. But it could have been
Australian Birdwatcher (now Australian Field Ornithology) or
Anyhow, there's just a chance this may jog someone else's memory, and they
may be able to finger it. Hope so, as I found it intriguing, particularly
in the light of Maurits' report.
Saw three Superb Parrots winging over the Southern Cross / Kingsford Smith
Drive intersection at 10am today while stopped at the lights. They landed in a
thickly-foliaged eucalypt nearby, so I parked on the wide median strip and
Dimity (18-year-old niece) and I investigated. We glimpsed one, a mature
female, we thought.
As we walked back to the ute, a motorcycle policeman pulled up behind
it and asked if I had a mechanical problem. I explained why we had stopped, and
he removed his helmet and told us he liked to watch birds too, and named about
ten species he'd seen in his garden.
"All the usual suspects," Dimity said. I was about to stomp gently but
firmly on her foot, but our bird-watching Plod had a sense of humour too. He
laughed and told us his cat had brought in two dead Blue Wrens of late. "Do you
think we should put a little collar and bell on her?"
"Yes, try a cow bell," I ventured and waited for his reaction. Fortunately,
Plod thought that was damn funny too. Then, he took out his pen and note book as
Dimity and I exchanged anxious glances.
"Can you tell me about some good bird-identification books", he asked.
We named the usual suspects, I mean field guides, and Plod noted it
all down. Then, he replaced his helmet in his pocket and put his notebook on his
head. Um ... perhaps I got the sequence wrong.
Plod straddled his sickle and we exchanged, "Have a good day, mate." Plod
slipped the sickle into gear and, so help me, he must have hit 120 kph before
he'd gone 100 metres down Southern Cross Drive.
"Hey!" the observant Dimity exclaimed, "That walloper is exceeding the
speed limit, and he didn't put his indicator on when he wheeled off the median
"Shut up, Tinkerbell, and get in the ute before I wallop you." Me, kindly
Uncle John, advised.