5/52: rescue of the robber bird

Netting the plums for protection against birds appears to have been somewhat in vain.

the bird netting was supposed to prevent this

While it may have put some off, on a number of occasions I have found a bird on the wrong side of the net. Obviously my method of application was not perfect. In retrospect I should have made sure the net was tied underneath the trees. Next year I will try to prune so that I can do this.

Some fly in, peck a few plums, then manage to get out. However, one little colourful bird was not so lucky. Noticing a flurry of wings, I found this rainbow lorikeet caught in the net, where he must have panicked and turned a number of times, ending up almost being strangled by the net.

a flurry of wings

sharp little beak

Although he was actually a robber, my love of animals won the day, with compassion and mercy overcoming my annoyance at his thievery, prompting my rescue mission. At least he appeared to be smiling for the camera.

With some help, we managed to untangle part of the net, and what we couldn’t do manually necessitated the careful use of scissors.

smiling at his rescuer

After the rescue, I held him for a photo, which I surely deserved, after which he flew off to safety.

rescue mission accomplishedIf that wasn’t enough, the following day there he was again, assuming it was the same bird. Look closely to see if you can decide whether it was the same one, but this time there was even more tangle, and when he was trying to talk no sound was coming out, so it must have been like a noose around his neck. The blue on the underside of his belly looks a little lighter in one photo, but it could just be the time of day and amount of light available.

magnificent colouring

second rescue mission achieved

This time his wing seemed to be a little damaged so we put him behind the shed so he could take his time to recover from his shock, and avoid our cats.

behind the shed recovery

The whole exercise prompted me to pick the rest of the crop of plums and remove the netting, because that was easier than a third rescue mission.

357/366: a plum’s net worth

When you find a plum on the tree pecked this much, it is time to net the rest.

a bird's ripeness test

bird netting

Determined to cover as much of the fruit on all three trees with the 4 x 10 metre netting that I had purchased, necessitated some manoeuvring.

In the end I realised I should have either bought the larger roll or two of the smaller. I made my choice, so I took an alternate route. I pruned the tree early, with plums attached, and then put them in a basket. I’ve never picked plums quite this early before but for jam-making there will certainly be plenty of pectin! Only one way to find out, and that is to do it. It will be interesting to ascertain if there is sufficient flavour so early.

maybe ready for jam

pruning for plum jam

the final result - practical though not pretty

I might leave them in the basket for a couple of days (inside) to ripen a little more before the attempt at cooking up a batch of jam. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, although in this case it will be the proof of the jam is in the spreading (and eating goes without saying).