The new kids on the block (Kyra and me) have responded to our first spill. We arrived at the Huntington Beach Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center yesterday morning, after a small spill was reported in Placentia, CA on Friday night. Kyra has been out in the field doing search and collection, and I’ve been in the facility helping with clinical care of the handful of mallards who have been affected. Yesterday, I’ll have to admit, was a tough day for both of us (I’m speaking for Kyra here, so hopefully she agrees with me!). Kyra and the rescue team were only able to collect 2 live birds, although they saw several others that they were unable to catch. And here in the facility, we lost a couple of birds unexpectedly. And, just before we were ready to leave for the night yesterday, one of the mallards was crashing (in the medical sense, not the collision sense) and we really thought we were going to lose her overnight. We treated her and tried to be hopeful, even though we expected the worst. But this morning, she was much brighter and when I examined her, she had food in her mouth, so she is eating on her own! In fact, all the birds seem to have improved overnight, so that has cheered everyone up. We have two birds that will likely be washed tomorrow, and two that will require a second wash later in the week.
This is the first time I’ve been to Huntington Beach and and the first time I’ve been to the WWCC facility and met the team here. All I can say is, wow, what a team! They really have a fantastic set of volunteers and staff here — incredibly dedicated and always smiling. They’ve welcomed me with open arms and it is a pleasure to work with every single one of them.
I am off to check on some mallards, but stay tuned for a post with an update on search and collection efforts!