Monday, January 26, 2009


I've been in an ebullient mood for days and I put this down to our early morning walks, prompted by Julia Cameron, author of Vein of Gold. I've joined the Vein of Gold Group over at CCS and one of the daily practices is walking. It has been hard to pull myself out of bed so early in the morning but definitely worth the effort!

We set off in the dark at when it is cool. It's so peaceful at this time of day and also ideal for spotting wildlife en route . We take Ben our Bull Terrier with us because nobody would dare challenge us when he's around and besides he loves and needs a walk even more than we do.

We've seen a white tipped mongoose hunting for the past 4 days as well as a Bushbuck standing silently watching as we passed by. On one of our walks we noticed a thrush dive bombing a mongoose in the middle of the road. Ben caught a whiff of it and took off with me flailing wildly at the end of the lead. (I've since been treated for whiplash by the chiropractor). As we got to the spot, mongoose disappeared down a drain and my eye caught site of a moving mud clod...or so I thought until I saw a gaping orange mouth .

Ben and I realized what it was simultaneously but I was quick, scooping the baby thrush out of harms way and holding it close while we searched for a nest. Thrush was quite a distance from any trees and he was definitely too young to fly . We couldn't leave him there or even put him in a tree to wait for the mum (who was nowhere to be seen) because he kept bailing off the branch and in any case it was highly probable that the mongoose would sniff him out. After waiting a while Hubby decided that we should take him home because he wouldn't survive out in the open ....what with the mongoose, cars and dogs about....... So home we went!

We have named him Bug because he eats bugs like there's no tomorrow. From dawn til dusk I'm on hands and knees in the garden, searching for rock roaches, wood lice and earthworms. We've now introduced him to Pronutro which drives him into a frenzy of wing flapping, chirping euphoria.

Bug is doing very well and all we hope for is to be able to release him back into the wild when he is old enough to look after himself. This could be harder than it sounds because thrushes are territorial and the last time we reared a thrush and tried to release him the other thrushes attacked poor Jack until we rescued him again. It took many more weeks before the others would even allow him to sit in the tree outside our bedroom window.

I wish I had the equipment to record and share what I can hear right this moment. Bug is chrrrpping at the top of his lungs just to let me know he hasn't eaten in the last half hour.


  1. oh goodness, this is unbelievable! what a great big orange mouth he has! he is a very lucky bird to be rescued that's for sure.
    i once heard that mother birds reject baby birds if they have been touched by humans. is that true?

  2. How delightful that you have saved this little life. Im just feeling good about it all the way over here in the another part of the world.

  3. Priya, it's true more often than not. I think it also depends on the type of bird. I've seen a pigeon take its young back after human touch on two occasions.

    Leslie, if we hadn't come along when we did the mongoose would have taken him. He might even have dropped the bird in the road when it was runnig off. It was so strange that it was quite far from the trees. Perhaps it fell out of it's nest and the mongoose carried it off...we will never know.

  4. What a nice day! Wonderful story! The little bird is so sveet. Incredible pictures, spectacularly beautiful world!

  5. you are officially my hero of the hour. best of luck to BUG! If he can't be with mama, I know your hands make a terrific alternative. :)

  6. Oh Robyn, Bug is just adorable. I hope he survives to adulthood, and you are such a dear to have rescued him. Have fun.

    P.S. And I really like your early morning pictures. Bring us along often.

  7. Your "Bug" is so sweet, and his orange mouth is amazing. I love this part of your life that you share. Beautiful morning walks and mongooses. "Riki Tiki Tavi" (I hope I spelled this right) was a story that my mother read over and over to me, by request, even in my teens... Roxanne

  8. I am enjoying seeing through your eyes and all best wishes to Bug.

  9. oh, robyn, bug is the sweetest... his feet and his beak are the biggest parts of him! i'm so happy that he has a home with you...

  10. Thanks Black & White. I am still thinking of the amazing work you are doing with the punched patterns.

    Michelle, I feel for the poor little thing without the mama.

    Katie, we got back from our walk about an hour ago and it's the most photogenic morning....but I forgot my camera. Grrr I hate it when that happens.

    Roxanne, Riki Tiki Tavi was my whole family's favourite story too. When ever I see a mongoose I think of him.

    Thanks Caroline. BTW I loved seeing your work in the red room!

    Lynne, I just hope I can keep him strong and happy.

  11. Robyn, you are amazing...digging up bugs from dawn to dark for your insistent little friend.

  12. Oh Robyn, I am so happy for Bug!! and I wish I could crawl around collecting creepy crawly tid bits to help you out with his feeding. toooooo cute!! Those photos are just adorable - I'm in love :) What a good 'mom' you are - I hope Bug grows up to be a strong and vital thrush in the wild...
    xoxo Karin

  13. Robyn...wonderful post.
    Bug is absolutely gorgeous...Oh that mouth and feet!!! fuzzy little thing...

    Have you decreased the size of your font? or are my eyes getting worse? just thought I would mention it! :) Joxx

  14. robyn - early morning walks - such a wonderful way to celebrate the start of a new day! and Bug - again you hold my heart in you hand! this moves me so!

  15. Thanks for sharing all of this with us... Bug is such a gorgeous, fuzzy little fellow (and lucky by the sound of it!!!).
    Good luck with all the insect hunting.

  16. WOW...What an amazing story. I m sure going to follow this one till you release bug into the wild.

  17. all that genuflecting while looking for critters will give you legs like Marlene Dietrich, not to mention a pest-free garden...

  18. this is an amazing post robyn,firstly i loove early morning walks.secondly you are an angel to be taking care of that sweet little bird.all the best with bug robyn.

  19. Precious! and with all your experience, he's in good hands. Love that little orange mouth.

  20. loved reading your post-I'm following

  21. Hello to you Bug!

    I really want to kiss him on the little forehead. So, after writing about the voices of your ancestors, here is a little song bird in your hand, it seems fitting and symbolic.

    Love the image of you crawling around looking for worms and such--let me know if you need a babysitter. We had a little bluejay once, and the others didn't want to let it re-integrate once we touched it, either.

    stay cool as a cucumber :)

  22. ps. maybe Bug can fan you with his wings while you are working. :)

  23. Stevie, now that he's eating Pronutro I don't hunt in the garden as much.

    Karin, amzing to think I'm not really a creepy crawly type of person but I do what I gotta do.

    Jo, I don't know when I decreased the font size and I'm battling to sort it out but hopefully it will be back to normal soon.

    Jeane, this dear little Bug is a joy!

    Thanks Jacky, the insects have done a supplies are dwindling.

    T&S, I'm hoping all will go according to plan. Poor little chap deserves to be free.

    India, tee hee, well legs like Marlene Dietrich is my incentive....and as for the pests...they've heard I'm looking for them and are playing hide and seek.

    Thanks Megha. The walks are giving me so much more energy.

    Shayla, it's a glow in the dark mouth :-)

    Thanks John, I will pop over to your blog to say hi.

    Mansuetude, hopping from rock to rock is doing me the world of good :-)
    A Bluejay baby must have been sooo cute.

  24. How absolutely incredible! I LOVE this story. I want to hear all about Bug, so I hope you keep giving us updates along with pictures. :)

  25. Bindu, I don't think that will be too difficult :-) More to follow.

  26. Welcome to the blog-o-sphere, BUG!!! What a great story, and congrats for becoming a member of Vein of Gold. I am a big fan of Julia Cameron.

    That first photo is spectacular!

  27. This is the one BUG everybody should have!

  28. Yay! Bug!
    You are amazing Robyn!
    Thank you for being the wonderful animal lover you are.

  29. Just look at all the excitement I have missed! How so very cute he is! And what a patient "mama" he has! I can remember finding babies like this when I was a little girl...never could get them to eat, though...maybe they were too little?? too scared?? sounds like yours is just hungry and not shy about letting you know it! too fun!