On yesterday's commuting walk to Plymouth Mrs The Millbrooker and I passed a poorly looking swan on the spit of land opposite Dexter's Cottage. It was dirty (possibly oily) and looking very sorry for itself.
After getting the number from Rob at home via a quick call on the little pink mobile, our heroine called the RSPCA. The animal soothing organisation said they'd get someone over to check it out and that was that.
A while later, whilst Mrs The Millbrooker was engaged in a lengthy family telephone conversation back at home on the land line, an RSPCA warden called on her mobile tying to get directions to find the grubby bird. Due to the lengthy family call, Mr Warden didn't get a reply and had to try again later; successfully this time.
Anyhow, the long and the short of it is that Britain's favourite animal charity successfully collected one miserable swan, bundled it into the back of one of their vans and have taken it to their wildfowl sanctuary for treatment.
The on-the-spot diagnosis was that it hadn't been oiled, but hadn't been grooming itself for quite a while - hence the dirty and unkempt appearance. Apparently this is normally indicative of the bird suffering from an infection or illness. Let's hope the creature gets the right medicine and can be brought back home again quickly and safely.
Mrs The Millbrooker is suitably proud of herself for doing her public (birdic?) duty. Just for reference in case you should see a bird or animal in distress the RSPCA can be contacted on:
08705 555 999
(photo image by Ian Morison, Jodrell bank Observatory. Found at www.jb.man.ac.uk/public/im/Swan61d.jpg )