Once upon a time, or so it goes, I used to do a lot of sea angling, and was a member of South Shields Angling Club.
Well, one stormy dark winter evening I was fishing Jacky's Beach,Whitburn with a wall of foam right in front of me. Anyone who knows this beach is familiar with the steep pebble beach which is unusual for our coastline, which allows you to fish close to the breakers.
However, to get to the point I noticed something in the foam and on investigating found it was a badly oiled Razorbill. The fishing had been rubbish so I thought pack up, take the bird home, and clean it then release it. So put it into a plastic carrier with its head out of the bag and into the haversack.
Little did I know what I was starting.
Got home about midnight and the better half was still up."Catch anything?" came the usual welcome. "Yes - well no, well....."
By this time I was joined in the kitchen just as I was taking the plastic bag out of the rucksack. Now you know how things look a different size when they are out of their normal surroundings - well this bird is Big! - in a kitchen.
"I'm going to clean it" was my reply to the question you know was asked.
"Then I'll release it" was my answer to the second.
So we got cracking with soap and water, without knowing if that was the correct procedure, but it had a significant effect both on the bird and our kitchen particularly when it did a bit of flapping. To be truthful there was a lot of flapping and a lot of oil spots.
After an hour or so we thought best leave it at that and see how things are in the morning. We had open coal fires at that time so after sorting a box with some mesh,installing the bird and placing it near the fire we went off to bed.
I expected the bird to depart this world overnight.
to be cont'd......