It was just coming up to 18:00hrs and so I decided to pack up, head back to base and call it a day. I had been out for 9 hours and 5 of those hours I was sat still out on the shell bank going through the Barwit & Red Knot flock looking for colour & flag ringed birds over the rising, high and falling tide but the heat haze made it near on impossible to read any alpha-numerics but luckily it wasn't so bad with the colour codes. I began my walk back along the tide-line beyond the shell bank as I do each time now, when I could see 2 adult Variable Oystercatchers attacking the South Island Pied Oystercatcher (SIPO) above and below. The SIPO was being totally submerged by the Variable's and I did go for my camera to film it but instead decided to try and help the victim. I had to be careful not to run directly at the SIPO otherwise it would just get pushed back in to the Variables or out further on to the mudflats. Just as the moment was right I ran and managed to catch the SIPO, it reminded me of running out on the tundra after Red Knot chicks. The bird was pretty shaken and so I managed to calm it down.
Upon arrival back at base I contacted the local animal-bird rescue centre and advised them of the situation. In return they advised me to wrap the bird up in dry towel, supply it with a solution of water, salt and sugar by slowly providing droplets so the bird could get some energy back and then leave it overnight in box with a cover in a dark room. Photo above shows the pump bottle with a sweet, salty solution that I provided. I have done this before with Bee-eaters in Eilat, Israel. Photo below shows you SIPO, wrapped up and taken care of. Hopefully there wont be any lasting damage caused by the Variables. So drop by, tune in and click tomorrow to see if SIPO makes it through the night. (fingers crossed)