25 June 2009


We've got an Australian Wood Duck into care recently. A friend of ours dropped him off, she said he'd got a problem with one of his legs. We have a local vet that is really good with wildlife, and birds in particular.

So I gave them a call.

"Hello, this is Steve, I've got a woodie..."


OK, I approached that the wrong way, I'll try again.

"Hello, this is Steve again. D'you wanna duck..."


I was going to try again, but five minutes later there was a knock at the door.

"Don't Taze me Bro!"

The boys in blue were really apologetic when I explained everything to them. They said something about the orange sauce really bringing out the flavours. Personally, I think duck is too boney to compete with chicken or turkey and the idea of blowing up a ducks bum to make Peking duck doesn't really appeal.


But seriously though, we did get a duck this evening and he's going to the vet tomorrow to have his leg looked at. Most of my writing lately has been academic stuff, so I thought I'd get bit creative. After all, I'm not being marked on my blog entries.

09 June 2009

A few days in the life of a student, day 4

For those of you eagerly waiting to hear about the final day of my stay at Mt Hyland, sorry about the delay. I've had a couple of big uni assignments to finish and they got priority, as did work and the animals. Now lets see if I can remember what happened on the last day.

As I was eager to head home as early as possible when we finished, I starting packing my gear into the car as soon as I got up, something those in tents should have done. We didn't actually know what time we would finish, but if it was early I could probably be home before it got dark. If we finished late I'd be looking for somewhere to stay in Dorrigo or Grafton, or even back in Armidale, and driving home the next day.

After breakfast we went down to collect the nests that we'd put out on day one and, surprise surprise, the one I'd put out had a mark on the egg where something had tried to eat it.

Back up to the main buildings and we all sat around examining our nests and working out what nests had been attacked and by what. The one in the picture above had most likely been predated by some kind of mammal like a mouse, some of our other nests had been predated by birds.

We then gathered in the dining room where a spokesperson from each group got up and told us all what they'd found when searching for their endangered species. It was unanimous, no group found what they were looking for. Just goes to prove how endangered they are doesn't it.

While we were still in the dining room, the data gathered from the nest predation experiment was collated as we'd be using it for an assignment, one of those I've just recently finished. We were given a bit of an idea how the final exam would be structured, that's normal for the end of a residential school. This one will be sent to us and we'll have two weeks to complete it and send it back in.

Once all that was done we had morning tea before being turned loose to pack up before lunch. This was around 11am and I was already packed, so a cup of tea and a bit of cake and I was ready to go. I said my goodbyes to a few friends and if it hadn't been for the fact that the heavens opened as I was eating my cake, you wouldn't have seen me for dust. Actually, rain had been forecast for the whole time we were there, so we were very lucky it came when it did. I'm just glad I wasn't one of those people that hadn't packed their tent yet.

I was home by five, just as Donna was finishing feeding all the animals. There was a huge rain shower when I was about two minutes from home too, I wonder if someone was trying to tell me something. It was sad to be leaving Mt Hyland, because everyone had such a great time, but it was still good to be home.