Hedgepigalina

As I was driving home from work yesterday I spotted a very small hedgehog merrily walking down the middle of the road. Thankfully my car is a tip so there was a towel on hand to wrap it in and whisk to safety. I popped him (gender is unknown but I am going with male) still curled in a ball in the towel into my garden and went inside for some dog food.

While he was wolfing down his Pedigree Little Champions homestyle beef, pasta and veges I Googled what to do. He was out in broad daylight so something was up. I found the number for NZ Hedgehog Rescue and left them a message. I then watched the imaginatively named Hedgie as he strolled along the width of the garden into a patch of (the bane of my life) vinelike weed. Hedgie seemed pretty sprightly and had eaten a meal so I headed inside.

NZ Hedgehog Rescue called me back and inquired about his size – just slightly bigger than a tennis ball when curled up. The lady informed me that he was too small to survive on his own and asked if I could take him into the rescue centre. Without a trip to the North Island on a plane I could not and thus became a hedgehog carer. I am to get his weight up to 700 grams so that he will be insulated enough to survive a Dunedin winter. Hedgehog Rescue said Hedgie was probably out searching for his Mum who was likely to be dead.

The first task was to locate him in the bushes. My dog went crazy trying to find him and I also scrabbled around, agitating the dogs who live over the back fence. When I couldn’t locate him I retired inside hoping to spot him later creeping about for more Little Champions. Sure enough, once the sun had gone down there he was, feasting.

Hedgie was bundled up and placed into his new enclosure – a plastic tub with one of the dog’s blankets shredded up and some strips of newspaper. The poor chap spent the evening trying to escape, attempting to climb the walls and, when that failed, trying again with slippery, wet, feet courtesy of his water dish.

I tried to weigh him on the bathroom scales but he was too light to register. Mr Pigalina is out of town so has not yet been exposed to the madness in person. When he is back one of the first tasks will be an official weigh-in.

(Hedgehog watch day 1)

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Live Blog: Pigalinas at The Dickies

We are at an R18 punk gig with F and C bombs flying. A lady and her approximately 10 year old son just came in. I can’t decide if this is terrible or awesome parenting.

Mr Pigalina just asked me to remind him to drink a litre of water before bed as he has work tomorrow. Not me! I am sensible, I also told him LAST YEAR to book the day off.

Had some delicious noodles. Everyone eats noodles at gigs/the pub, right?

Time for dancing!

Silverstream

In our effort to get out and see new places in our own backyard, the Pigalinas headed to Silverstream for a walk.
We selected a walk – we were to follow the little red symbols on the signposts and set off. The sign warned that the walk was “hard”. We went up hills, down hills – once with the aid of a rope and across two streams (carrying the dog thanks to the presence of toxic algae) and at one point Mr Pigalina feared we would be camping for the night under a blanket of leaves due to the lack of little red symbols and signposts.
We saw the most fantails we have ever seen in one place. I just about lost it at their cuteness and was over the moon to spot an all black one.
There are a number of other trails we intend to explore, but next time we will take a photo of the map!

Pigalina is Kiwilina

Although it was April Fools Day the Department of Internal Affairs made sure that my Citizenship Ceremony was in the afternoon – meaning it was unlikely to be an elaborate trick.

Yes, after 20 years in the country I can now officially call myself a New Zealander.  (It was purely slackness on my part, it usually doesn’t take that long.)

Here is a rare glimpse of Pigalina with Mayor Dave Cull.

citizenship

Seal Spotting at Taiaroa Head

We headed out to the end of the Otago Peninsula to investigate what is there, as it has been many years since we did.
Pilots Beach held a wealth of seals and they were not scared of humans – sunbathing on the rocks within feet of the many people. Living at the site of one of Dunedin’s most popular tourist attractions (the albatross colony) will do that to you.
The other side revealed steep cliffs with a view of the lighthouse and numerous nesting birds. We didn’t spot any albatross but I can confirm you can see some good sights at the end of the peninsula without spending any money.

Waitangi Day at Nitro Circus

Waitangi Day and the country was on holiday. In Dunedin it rained constantly so it is a good job we have a covered stadium (take that stadium haters…). Nitro Circus came to town and they were spectacular. I didn’t get any photos of the action as I didn’t want to miss any of the action and there were plenty of other people taking shaky videos and grainy snaps.
We saw a backflip on a motorbike with four people riding it, a front flip, wheelchair backflips, triple backflips on BMX and so much more.
Mr Pigalina had pondered if two hours of flips and tricks would get a bit boring, it certainly didn’t!

(The only bit I would change was the irritating family in front – kids throwing food, oblivious dads and one drunken mother who spent the whole show taking selfies and texting.)

Seagull Discrimination

It turns out it matters what colour you are if you are a seagull in New Zealand, and I’m talking beak colour.

There are three types of seagull in New Zealand – as far as I have determined – yellow beak big ones, red beak and black beak.  I am not sure which colour makes you the most important but *spolier* it’s not red.

Today on my way to work a seagull was sitting on the grass next to the footpath.  It didn’t make any attempt to move when people walked past so I knew something wasn’t right.  I went to touch the bird and it did move, and then I noticed that both of its legs were out behind it and it was “sitting” on its belly.  There was no way it could fly away as it could not push off the ground with its legs.

I called the Department of Conservation (DOC) hotline for injured wildlife.

“Do you help seagulls?”

“What kind is it?” they asked

“One of the ones with the red beak and red legs.”

“No, try the SPCA”.

I then had to find the number and call the SPCA “No we don’t, try DOC.”

“I just called them, they said to call you.”

“Tell them that you are in Dunedin, the Dunedin branch helps those kind.”

I called DOC back again and the lady didn’t sound very interested, I explained how the SPCA had said that the Dunedin branch helps them so therefore I had called back.  She asked if I could take the bird to the office – no, not without wrangling into my cardigan and carrying across busy roads and a few blocks.  She logged a job with them and said that they would call me back and instructed me to call the Dunedin office myself also.  I did.  They were shut.

Just as I was hanging up a young man appeared.  He asked if the bird was hurt and, as if to demonstrate that yes it was, it scooched awkwardly across onto the footpath.  I told him the saga and he said that his mum had helped lots of injured seagulls out so he would take it home.  He threw his jumper over the bird and said he would head home to feed it up on cat food.  After declining a ride he was gone, bird in arms.

DOC did not call me back until almost 40 minutes later when I was at my desk.  I would have been late for work, and would have stood on the side of the road for close to an hour.  When I told them that the bird had been taken by the kind boy the woman said “It probably won’t heal.”  “He will make it comfortable anyway.” I replied.  I know your game DOC, you would take my injured bird and kill it without letting it rest on a nice bed scoffing cat food before it goes!  At least it got taken in by a family that cares, even if its days are numbered, not left on the side of the road for hours by the organisations supposed to help creatures.

gull