Re mystic Silver Gull

To: "chat line" <>
Subject: Re mystic Silver Gull
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 22:22:40 +1100
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 Wingspan.
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 strip."
"Shut up, Tinkerbell, and get in the ute before I wallop you." Me, kindly Uncle John, advised.
John Layton. 
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