When I spotted an odd long-legged bird in the lower corner of my yard, of course I went for the camera. Then I noticed that this bird was not walking, but hopping.
As I got closer, it seemed to have been injured, perhaps attacked by a dog?
Why had it not flown off from the dog? Perhaps its wing was also hurt.
But how had it got into my yard, and was it now stuck here?
That question was soon answered, as the wary bird flew up to perch on the fence.
Clutching with the claws of one foot, the other a mere balancing prop, I was surprised it could stay there.
As it took off, I hoped it would find somewhere safe to take refuge until its injuries mended.
I checked my book: I had been visited by a Sacred (White) Ibis. The adjoining wetland draws occasional surprises in waterbirds.
A few days later, it was back, still hopping. Had it but known I have no dog, it would have realised that here was a safe place, a sanctuary. But again its visit was brief.
Should I put up a sign? ‘Dog-free zone. All wildlife welcome.’