shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

Replies & thoughts of Seifa Great Escape // Cyrus Oriole // An iftar meal


Replies & thoughts of Seifa Great Escape

moccasinlanding ,rheadabovewater ,

I will be going to Seifa Al Sheikh with hard print photos of those guys tomorrow, Thursday. I will also bought a 300meter reel of Dyneema line for Majar's father. He had a look at that line, felt it, and wowwed over that quality. That reel cost 12 OR or 30 US$ here and that will be my present to him.

The other day, I did a 'Whats your age' test on Facebook and was told that I was 20-23 years old. Making me wonder just how that test came to that conclusion. As for the 3-4 days after I made the run of my life and that climb, I was, as I said elsewhere, a walking wounded and waddling like a penguin . I had not described the raptors that I saw gliding about above the hills alongside that valley.

I certainly did not feel I was a 20-23 year old despite the assurances from Facebook. My greys loved to make me older and both subjected me to horrendous 45 dgree slopes to prove their love for me.

If I could kick myself, I would have kicked my bum so hard it would go into orbit and join that space station up there.

Bad as it was, you all would agree it was nothing like what Tinkerbell did to all of us in Bantienyen in 2007/2008 recorded here.
Tinkerbell - Yuan Fen Tse Tau Tser Li

There are also a couple of replies I made elsewhere that I like to archived here for people who are not members there.


One is from
and from my thread Update from Shanlung

Ken wrote

I really apreciate your honesty. You tell it like it is. When you make a
mistake you tell about it and those of us who will, can learn from your
mistakes. - Mind you, I've learned a lot from your good advice as well.
It's just you know a LOT, and you share all, for us to learn. THANK YOU!


I replied


If people along side when I started on this path had not given to me of their
knowledge, I will not have been here now.

I am just adding on, and passing on the help that I was given earlier.

Others who gave before, and I giving what I know now, gained more than keeping
it for just for ourselves.

I lost her through stupid complaceny. That line was so close to breaking and Idid not do a simple pull check because I was so awed by Dyneema. I forgot I
subject that to so much abuse earlier.

I ran the run of my life. Climbed slopes I never would have climbed.
Remember I was born in 1951 and have too many years behind me.

I was lucky. I recovered her.

Worth the price of being a walking wounded and waddling like a penguin the last 3 days as the stiffness slowly left my legs and back.

Warmest regards



Then from another forum that I joined a few weeks back.
Squid wrote
"Wow, what a fantastic story and what fantastic pictures.........very inspiring, at the moment i am still following your complete diary......its fantastic, keeps me in fascinating and informative reading for hours......i am just just so pleased you found her again phew i bet you must have panicked and sweated in that heat but all is well now and she is back safe and sound "


"Thank you so much, i love your youtube videos aswell, Yingshiong looks so fantastic in flight and has such long tail feathers? is crickets their main diet? such lovely birds, i also love Riam unlocking your watch strap
Shanlung is there an easy way to continue from one story to another? i am trying to find the Riam diaries, and i cant seem to find them? is there an easy way to go to the next writings?
BTW, i see you read, have your read any of William Horword, especially the Stonor Eagles?"

I replied


There was this initial fear when I saw Riam heading out and out over the water . When she turned back, my mind shifted to recovery mode.

Greys are incredible empaths. I felt Riam was already very frightened even if she was exhilarated at the beginning.

If I allowed myself to panic, that will do no one any good. To feel despair is also contraproductive. Riam would sense the fear and panick in me and be even more frightend. I need to be an oasis of calm to assure her.

All my focus was on location of her and recovery. Raptors were flying in that area.

That forced me to run the run of my life, and to climb the slope that should not be climbed. My mind was working also on what to do should I not get her that day even as I was running to where I thought she landed.

For anyone that has the misfortune of losing a bird.

Panicking and crying is a luxury you cannot afford or allow. Your bird need your utmost focus to get him/her back.

There will be time aplenty to panick and cry or wring his/her miserable neck after you get him/her back.

I have a deep soft spot for Yingshiong my beautiful feisty shama song bird. I still could not bring myself to write of his final handover to Jurong Bird Park.

After you finished my chronicles of YS, you cannot but accept that a tiny bird like him is also a sentient being.

Here are some of his videos

The intermediate recall

Yingshiong intermediate recall II

When I decided YS is to go back into his flightroom so Ivan the cat can be out, I just signal with my hand and tell YS ' go back'. You can see this sequence here, where YS flew back to his flight room and into his cage at my cue.

Yingshiong flies back on command

The last video was most amusing to me. People in shama forums wrote out that it would be very bad to let shama out of the cage as hours had to be spend chasing the shama with nets to get him back to the cage and will stress the bird bady.

I told them then all I need was to ask YS to go back to his cage. The screams and hoots of laughter at my note was hilarious to me.

So I got my wife to shot that video of YS flying back and into his cage. You noticed no food reward given for that either. A deafening silence was the reply from all who had earlier hooted and laughed at me.

Shama are insectivores. So I tried to replicate their diet with much advice from people.

YS main diet will be the Yingshiong Mash I made, with TInkerbell Mash as key ingredient.

The insects I gave him are crickets, Suris (Pycnoscelus surinamensis), freshly molted meal worms and what I called as 'millis'.


YSM - Read "making of Yingshiong mash"

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""


People talked about gut loading the insects before feeding to birds. I talked about tissue loading of insects as well. The insects are only as good as the food you feed them with.

Folks in some bird forums were mighty displeased when I said I feed my roaches and crickets and millis better than many feed their birds and parrots. I felt they were annoyed as that was truly the case.

I used Tinkerbell mash to feed those insects. together with. What YS did not eat of his YS mash were given the next day to those insects so they will have yummy guts and yummy tissue which go back into Yingshiong.

If you have a good look into the main web page in my signature
you will find the starting point to Yingshiong. I will add that here as well.

Start point of Yingshiong

The starting point for Riamfada is also in the main web page.

But I add that here for your ease of finding.

Start point for Riamfada



The oriole rescue & care is in here
Dimaniyat - Swimming with dolphins// Rescued Black Naped Oriole // Desecrating work of art rod/reel

Cyrus Oriole

The other day I received an email from my childhood friend Cyrus. He is very jealous that I am a 20-23 year old while he remained his true age.

He brought bitter and very sweet news of his oriole that he had not named.

Send to me on 20 Aug 2009

"Hello again,

Update on the Oriole. On Sunday he took off as usual for the rambutan tree about 200m from our house. He came back to the tree over the pond, but strangely did not ask for food. By late afternoon he left and did not return.

The next morning Laura used her whistle and called for him. He replied, but did not want to return. Laura says he was with another Oriole. There are much thicker woods further in the estate, and hopefully he is safe in there somewhere. He must be finding food, because he knows where we are, having flown around the area for about 2 weeks.

Well, we were hoping for the day when he would be free, but the pain is no less that he is not around anymore, especially for Laura.

Hope he is growing up well and will visit our garden again one day soon. We will dig up the juicest food for him!

Well, until the next rescue!



The oriole rescue & care is in here
Dimaniyat - Swimming with dolphins// Rescued Black Naped Oriole // Desecrating work of art rod/reel


An iftar meal

More photos in Flickr folder "An iftar meal "

In Dec 06 2008, I wrote of my travels to the beehive tombs in
"Ring perch, travels to tombs and harness intro to Riamfada"

As Riam was just getting her intro to harness, she could not have joined us then.

During the Ramadan fasting month, it is very traditional that you break that fast at end of the day with family members and very close friends. During our neighbourhood walk, I would greet my next door neighbour all dressed up and he was telling me he was driving to his mom to break the fast, or to his sister, or to his aunt. There were times when many cars were parked outside his villa which made me guess those folks came over to break their fast.

I was surprised and delighted that my long suffering wife driving instructor Omer invited us over on Friday 28 Aug 2009 to break the fast at end of the day.

My wife is still taking driving lessons from him She passed part 1 on the 3rd (or 4th?) attempt after the oil drums stopped lurching out from where they were placed. Part 2 were failed 3 times, the last time when the driving tester had to jam on the brakes which left him understandably in a bad mood.

This was the same driving instructor Omer who clutched at his chest moaning "my heart, my heart" in between Arabic exclamations the first time my wife was his driving student.

We all know of the Stockholm Syndrome, where victims inflicted with much mental and or physicalpain got bonded with those that inflicted pain on them. Such as what we saw in Jaycee in Antioch.

Otherwise, I had no idea why the Driving Instructor invited my wife and I and Riamfada to break the fast.

This was the day after the Seifa Great Escape. I was a walking wounded with my legs and body and soul stiff with pain from that run and climb the previous day.

We accepted the invitation made a week earlier. Even though I hurt and ach all over, we had to go.

He was staying in this village of Halban. Which is the same village as the mysterious beehive tombs that we went to a year earlier. Those tombs were believed to be 4000++ years old , and old even before the Pyramids and Stonehenge and China Great Wall were built.

We were told to call him at 7pm and he would bring us to his house.

We went there at 6pm. To have another look at the old tombs with Riamfada this time.


Nicely dressed with Riam in front of the Halban tombs.

It was only a few meters climb to the tombs. Even that was beyond my power that day. So we did our flights in front of the tombs.


And of course, now that it did not matter, Riamfada flew to me so demurely and nicely each and every time I called her to fly to me.

When it really mattered like yesterday, she made me grow grey hairs except my hairs voted to drop off instead.

It was getting dark and we drove to the main road just outside the village to wait for the time to call Omer


Omer drove out to meet us to guide us to his house. The village had unnamed roads and un-numbered houses.


The fast was first broken with fruits and coffee from traditional Arabian coffee jug served in tiny cups.


Riam loved the apple and peaches but turned her nose at banana.

Then Omer brought out the main meal, including a dish of the most tender lamb, more delicious than the best I ever had from any restaurant anywhere in the world so far. That was made by him to a family recipe.

I removed Raimfada harness after the meal.

She largely remained on her perch. Now and then, she flew up and circled the room. She came back to me when called. Once she flew to Omer's shoulder unprompted. That pleased him very much especially when I told him Riam very seldom fly to anyone but me.

I then placed back the harness to take Riam to the yard to show his family her recall flights. They were delighted to have us all, me included in that breaking of Iftah fast.


More photos in Flickr folder "An iftar meal "


editted on 2 Aug 2011
I was surprised when I saw the number of hits on this page today. I wrote this long time ago.
I then realised as Ramadan is on us again that perhaps people Googling
for Iftar meal found this on their search engine.
Or perhaps this was mentioned to you in a forum or friends send this to you

I wish you all happiness on this festive and holy occasion and hoped you enjoy my account of that Iftar meal.
You might care to write to me at how you came to this page.
That will be much appreciated by me.

And you might like to see my latest writings at

My main webpage is

You might enjoy that too!



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice

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