It’s been raining today, on and off, lightly and not-so-lightly. And just a few minutes ago, I was listening to the tinging of tiny hail stones against the window behind me.
This morning as I meandered along the shore, one of the ladies I often see walking her dog, stopped talking on her phone for a moment to tell me about a small bird a little ways up the beach that was injured. “Thankfully Lucy (her small, sleek, black, energy-encapsulated companion) didn’t see it,” she said. She wondered if I knew who she could call to help. I told her about Pacific Wildlife Care and she was going to phone them.
Trouble was, with so many people walking their dogs along there each morning, an injured bird would be very vulnerable, even though most of the people I know would probably try to protect it from their dogs. Not all would, and some who would normally, might not see it in time to prevent an interaction.
When I reached the small bird, I realized that it was a juvenile — with all the sand and sea foam on its face, I wasn’t sure right away if it was a gull or a baby pelican. One thing was certain, I couldn’t just leave him/her there.
A couple of ladies were coming towards me, no dogs with them though. And a little farther, near “the middle” — there’s a small parking area and entrance to the beach — I could see a lady and a fellow with three small dogs. I recognized the trio. Perfect. One of my beach acquaintances, Wayne, and his wife would be more than happy to help.
I told them about the little bird and asked if they’d watch out for it while I went home to get a box. They said, “Sure,” as I knew they would. And then I ran home, rallied my forces — got my son up — and while he quickly got ready, I found a box and an old sweatshirt. Then we ran/jogged/walked/ran… back to the beach.
Just as we’ve needed to do before, for some other small birds, I carefully covered the little frightened gull with the sweatshirt and slowly, gently lifted it, set it in the box, and put the lid on. Wayne kindly gave us a ride home.
My husband wasn’t going to be able to get off work in time for us to make it over to the Pacific Wildlife Care Centre before they closed, but it worked out that someone was able to come to us. So thanks to caring neighbours, good timing, and a special local organization, that stranded little creature has a second chance to grow up.