shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7

more photos in flickr folder "Visit to Harry's and free flight "

Morning with Harry & the decision

Thursday 21 January 2010

I had the dilemma of deciding between Harry and the Jabris. It was clear that both parties would love Riamfada and take good care of her. Riam also showed she was comfortable with both Harry and Jabris and seemed to be specially attracted to Asia.

Jabris lived in a big house where Riamfada would be able to fly about it fairly safely. If so decided, I would of course go through the house with Mr Jabri to suggest how it make it even more safe and suitable to live with a flighted parrot.

Harry had this huge area as his gentleman farmyard with emus, peacocks, ducks, geese, chickens, guinea fowl, goats, sheep and doggies with his wife and 2 little girls and gardeners. Harry’s house consist of several small different buildings, separated but close to each other. There were no big enclosed space like the Jabri’s house.

Harry had thoughts of Riamfada outside with him where he spend most of his time, and that was the big attraction of Riamfada being with Harry.

I could free fly Riamfada as you have seen. But that was the end of a long long process of living with Riam and bonding with Riam. Riamfada had refused to fly to Harry as yet despite all my attempts. That was no fault of Harry, or any others. Riam showed so many times that she would fly only to me.

Even with recall capability, you all long known of my attitude ‘ when push comes to shove, that may not work’ , that alone cannot be the criteria along to take a bird out safely. So without recall ability, it was absolutely essential Riamfada had to have harness and leash on to be taken outside safely by other people. For Harry to take Riamfada outside safely with him, Harry had to be able to safely (to himself) put on and take off the Tinkerbell Ultra-Lite flight harness.

In the email exchanges with Harry that he was coming to Thursday evening Tinkerbell Mash cookoff, I mentioned I come over on Thursday morning about 10ish and perhaps to free fly Riam there weather permitting. I had to make sure Harry could handle the harnessing too. He was happy and warmly invited us to drop in.

I reached his place in Yiti closer to 11am. I apologized that the preparations for Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7 cookout took more time than I had expected.

Riamfada looked tensed and nervous when we went into his garden/yard. It would be a very bad idea and asking for trouble to remove her leash there and then. Not that was any problem as she would settle down quickly. I told Harry to observe her when he was carrying her on her rod/reel. We had coffee and out of this world cake made by his wife out in his huge garden. So big and beautiful that many people want to use it for occasions. He told me his wife extended family decided on a formal engagement between a couple and suddenly, decided to hold that in his place later that day. He wanted to come for the cookout, but I told him for harmony with his wife and extended family, he must stay to be the host.

Harry was telling me he read all my blogs , and he was impressed and touched with the obvious love shown to Riamfada by the Jabris in the photos taken in the visit to their house. And he would understand if Riam went to them. I thought he was so gentlemanly about that.

But I went on with what I wanted to do. With Riamfada on my jeans, I showed Harry how to rub her head, her neck and slowly on the back. If harness was to be worn, those were important precursors. If the parrot is not going to allow you to touch her, harness could not be worn. Believe me, you do not want to force a harness on an unwilling parrot, not if you value your fingers.


Riamfada got a lot more settled and again I asked Harry to observe and see the differences when we got there 15 minutes ago and at that point. Nuances and close observations to the mood of your parrot are so important. Riam readily accepted beak rubs. I showed Harry how to rub the beak with one finger and sneaked in another finger to the head to rub head , and bring that finger down to rub neck. That was what I had done as you all have read in Riam’s first few weeks with me.


refresher how to put on harness


more photos in flickr folder "Visit to Harry's and free flight "

Riam was placed on Harry’s lap. Beak rubs went ok.


But Harry was still nervous and unable to read Riam. But it was not easy to recognize an annoyed CAG from a curious CAG, especially if they open their jaws. Riam opened her beak to nibble, which could be very intimidating if you did not know. Harry jerked back his hand each time.
Harry little girls came. Riam nicely took sunflower seeds offered by them.

accepting sunflower seed from Sarah



We took short breaks frequently to sip coffee and eat cakes as it would not be good to persistently try to give beak rubs to Riam. And the cake made by Harry’s wife was just so good. Best cake I ever had in Oman.
Harry tried again. Riam was not happy and Harry missed that change in expression and persisted. I saw and shouted a warning to Harry to stop but was too late. Riam lunged at his forefinger and beak closed at just beyond the quick. Riam continued in a flying lunge and flew to his chest to continue the attack. But at my shout to her to ‘STOP IT, YOU BAD GIRL!’ .

photo taken at point of Riamfada flying lunge.

She released the finger and was taken up by me.
It gave me and Harry a shock. He looked at the bite with no blood drawn. He felt the power of that nip which I told him was a ‘warning’ . There was this man in Chiayi who showed such fascination to me and Tinkerbell in her flights to me and being on my shoulder. He wondered how I did that and hold up his hand showing me 3 and ½ finger. He told me his CAG bite right through his finger and bone.

I knew of the pain in the bite, first hand from Riam who mistakenly bite me thinking it was my wife.
"Riam want the neighbourhood walk // Maya's CAG bullies her //Riamfada gave me her first painful bite "

Harry in reflex drew back his hand, forgetting what I told him. To push hand into Riam’s chest and twist downwards. That would not prevent the bite, but will mitigate damage done.

Harry was very thoughtful with that bite. He recognized his failure in ‘reading of Riam and would not hold that bite against her. He said his two little girls are precious to him, and with even more delicate fingers and who might not understand how not to cross that line with Riamfada.

I agreed, and told him I was worried about them too. Riamfada seemed to like and recognized kids and treated them differently. I believed Riamfada would cut a lot of slack with kids. Still, there would always be a line that should not be crossed with Riamfada. Kids might not understand that , and the danger they crossed the line had to be recognized. How can a toddler understand?

Riam looked ok again. As if what was the fuss about. We then had a couple of warm up flights with her leash on.




more photos in flickr folder "Visit to Harry's and free flight "

I took off the leash, Riam standing on the perch hold by Harry to fly a couple more recalls to me.



After those flights, Riam was leashed again. I rather do that so I could be more relaxed and enjoy Harry’s place instead of having to be supra aware of Riamfada if I unleashed her. We walked about his yard to admire his menagerie again.





more photos in flickr folder "Visit to Harry's and free flight "

He had 3 new white turkeys still kept in the coop for another 2-3 weeks to settle down prior to getting free run of the place. He never ate duck eggs. His neighbours enjoyed the duck and goose eggs from his flock.

Half hour later, he told me that bite still hurt. I offered my help with his smaller hookbills which might be more practical with little girls. That I take the sun conure (or was that lovebird?) back with me for a week to get into flighted recalls with me first. That would make it easier for him later. I never had small hookbills before, but I think I do have a knack with birds, any birds, any age.

We then said our goodbyes and headed back.

I was a bit sad.

After the visit we made to Jabris home, and the love they shown and space offered, I told Jabri that he and Harry are joint first. This morning to Harry was to help me to decide.

I liked Harry from the time we first met. He was a Dive Master more than once, firstly as a Dutch Scuba Organisation which was not recognized and then later he went through another entire course to qualify as a Padi Dive Master. I am a Padi Rescue Diver, just short of being a DM. I told him I did not go on to be DM as that involved a month of being a slave, and paying for it, in a Diving School.

Harry was also the catalyst for the free flights you seen of Riamfada. When he talked of his desire for Riamfada to fly free, I told him I would work with him on that. I knew in my heart Riamfada was ready for free flight. But I am a procrastinator and the last few weeks were taken up with Harry and Jabris. Also, once I knew the future of Riamfada was assured, I felt a lot better. I never would have free flown if feeling sad and rotten. I made that mistake and learned for that Wadi Bani Awf experience. PARROTS ARE EMPATHS AND YOUR EMOTIONS WILL AFFECT THEM.

Buwah was an excellent place, with clear visibilities and with trees not so thick as to hinder sight of Riam should she fly further. And no horrendous 45 degree slopes nearby to climb. I had to take that step of free flights in Buwah which went very well to give me the confidence.


Once free flights were done in Buwah, free flights at home were mentally easy.
I had to do those free flights in controlled isolation first, just me, my wife, kitties and Riam. Then with that done, do that in Yiti with Harry and kids and menagerie.

I had liked the thought of Riam enjoying life in Yiti with emus, goats and all. Harnessing Riamfada was so easy to me. But that took me about 5 days in addition to the weeks earlier preparing Riamfada with head rubs, body rubs and under wing rubs. That required living together and bonding together.

Even turkeys had to be first kept in coop for 3-4 weeks prior to letting them run about. For that reason, Riam had to be harnessed for a period of time to let her safely know that surroundings. Recalls had to be done consistently too. That will require bonding to be there or Riamfada would not allow handling to be harnessed or do recalls to you. Riamfada had jaws that now opened almond in shells daily. I need not have to partly crack that shell as I did so initially.

Harry business also take him outside Oman a few days each week. Harry can easily build a big aviary for Riamfada. But that will cause a further separation with both living separately making bonding together more difficult. It is easier for the flighted parrot to live with you in your home than for you to live in the aviary with your parrot.

I learned a lot with Harry and Jabris. What I thought was easy to do was not going to be easy with other people. I had to observe and think of ways , and to show ways hopefully to allow them do what I have done with Riamfada

Jabri family will always be around. Living in a big house, they will have the time and space to understand and build up the bond with Riamfada. Riamfada might not be taken outside by them for a long time and hence would not need to use the harness so urgently. She can happily live and fly in the house and have the time to build up the relationship and bond slowly.

Until that morning, Harry and Jabris were joint front runners.

I think Harry will understand if Jabris will now be the likely family to have Riamfada when I have to leave Oman.

My offer to Harry to help with one of the smaller hookbill to free fly still stands.

more photos in flickr folder "Visit to Harry's and free flight "


Riamfada's flights at Sultan of Oman Palace

more photos in flickr folder "Riamfada flight outside Sultan of Oman Palace "

Muscat, the old town , was between Yiti and our villa. We passed through this place so many times going around the roundabout in front of the Sultan of Oman’s striking blue and gold palace. We decided to stop this time on the way back from Harry.

Riamfada had harness and leash on. Not that the leash was needed. She was the epitome of good behavior and did all that I cued her to. Folks there, kids on school excursion and the guards enjoyed Riam in her flights to me.

Riam posed beautiful and dignified for photos with them all.

I hope you all will enjoy these photos.








Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7

Tinkerbell Mash is based on the formula for Mike’s Manna Mash created and given to the world by my good friend Mike Burton. Mike is sadly no longer with us but never will be forgotten as long as people prepare his mash or Tinkerbell Mash. There is a group dedicated to Mike’s Manna Mash and where you can get his original recipe from.
The folks there are very helpful and it will be nice of you to go there and say hi.

Original Mikes Manna Mash recipe here

The recipe for original Tinkerbell Mash is here with the reasons why I did not use MMM formula. Largely because my freezer was too small as is the case of my freezer in Muscat. I like icecream too. Much as I love Tink and Riam now, I could not dedicate my entire freezer to keep the mash.

'Tinkerbell's special food preparation (was Mike's Manna and how the heck do you make so MUCH?'

The recipe was reported earlier in
Riamfada and mash

Instead of using cup, I used weight as unit of measurement , same as for Yingshiong mash as weight is easier to see than level of beans in cup.

So I use 50 grams for standard measure for dry beans/cereals and 110 grams for wet stuff such as frozen sweet corn , sweet potatoes and carrots. I also added lima beans even if that was not in the original Tinkerbell Mash recipe. I wrote that recipe 8 years ago, and I guess I can tinker a bit. Why I decide on 50 grams now instead of 55 grams for standard measure was that my pot was a bit too small.

The recipe for Batch 7 is

1 measure (50 grams) of soybeans
1 measure (50 grams) of kidney beans
1 measure (50 grams) of garbonzo beans
1 measure (50 grams) of pinto beans
1 measure (50 grams) of blackeye beans
2 measure (100 grams) of Great Northern white beans
1 measure (50 grams) of red beans
1 measure (50 grams) of green beans
1 measure (50 grams) of black beans
1 measure (50 grams) of lima beans
1 measure (110 grams)of frozen sweet corn

(editted on 8Feb2011 to include
1 measure (50 grams) of peas This was in the photos but I forgot to include here until Morana pointed out my omission. Thank you Morana for pointing out this error)

1 measure (70 grams) of brown crushed barley
1 measure (70 grams) of brown glutinious rice
1 measure (70 grams) of brown rice
1 measure (70 grams) of brown rolled oats
1 measure (70 grams) of brown rolled wheat berries
( I decided to use slightly more cereal than standard. Just my choice. I liked crushed or rolled grains )

2 measure (120 grams) of millet

6 measure (660 grams) of sweet potatoes 3/4 grated (thereabout)
6 measure (660 grams) of carrots 3/4 grated (thereabout)

2 tablespoon of wheat germ
2 teaspoon of cuttlefish bone crushed and powdered

Lima beans contained linamarin, which releases a cyanide compound unless cooked thoroughly. The soaking/germinating process that I do reduces the linamarin.
The liquidizing of the all the beans ensured the beans are broken into small bits so that cooking is thorough to render harmless all poison from lima and other beans. This is a new addition on my part. If you do fear lima beans, you should exclude it)

more photos in flickr folder "Preparing Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7 "

The Jabri family came at about 630pm to see how the mash was done.

At this point, 3 days had already gone into the mash preparation proper which started on Tuesday morning. The dry beans/peas ingredients were weighed out on Monday night. Then on Tuesday morning, I added water to cover the beans/peas for the 8 to 10 hours to start their sprouting process.
When I came back in the evening, those soaked beans were washed, rinsed and water drained. It is important to drain the water or the beans can rot and the germinating process ruined.
Then in the morning, lunch time and evening time of the next couple of days, I added water to the beans again for about 10 minutes. That would be followed by washing, rinsing and water totally drained.
The green beans and black eye beans sprouted very fast. So much so that on Wednesday night, I placed the green beans and black eye beans into the fridge to slow that process.

lima beans


initial 8-10 hours soak to start germinating

ten minutes soak/wash/rinse kidney beans






more photos in flickr folder "Preparing Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7 "




more photos in flickr folder "Preparing Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7 "

I showed the Jabris the germinating beans and the dry beans.

And the cereals of brown Bismati rice, brown glutinous rice, crushed brown wheat berries and crushed brown oat berries. I bought them all together with crushed brown barley from organic shop, but the shop counter forgot to include the crushed brown barley and I was outside the store having a ciggie. I found out the missing barley at 5 pm when I was weighing out the cereals, too late to rush down to the shop. I added more wheat and more glutinous rice to compensate.

more photos in flickr folder "Jabris visit to see Tink Mash Batch 7 cooking "


About a third of sweet corn and green beans and red beans and peas were separated out into another bowl. Water already boiling in a kettle jug was then added to cover the beans for the rest of them. With Jabris looking on, I tried to shorten cooking time which was why I used boiling water.
Those beans and water were poured into cooking pot and placed on induction plate. After the pot came to a boil, the boiling was maintained for 5 minutes. The icky scum on the top was removed.
That boiling pot could not be poured into the liquidizer without melting the liquidizer. So the pot was placed into the kitchen sink filled with water. In normal cooking, I would just go to Internet to play a few games of chess for 45 minutes or so. But on that evening with Jabris as guests, I could not do what I done before. I bought a bag of ice to add into the sink to hasten the cooling process to cool those beans enough for me to handle to pour into the liquidizer.


They were then poured portion by portion into the blender/liquidizer to break them into bits and mashed and mixed the whole lot. I used the blender when I noticed Riamfada to be a fussy eater refusing to eat some of the beans.





Tink was a garbage can with jaws eating any and every thing. The blender also broke the semi cooked beans into tiny fragments to ensure the later cooking would cook them all completely. Some beans are poisonous and must be cooked thoroughly especially the lima beans.


The mashed and blended beans then were poured back into the pot. If they were too thick and like paste, water were added to thin that pasty mix into liquid to allow them to be boiled properly again. The portion of sweet corn, red and green beans and peas that I set aside earlier were placed into the pot. The pot was back onto the induction plate and brought to a boil again.


The cereals were all added into the pot. Together with 2 teaspoon of the cuttlefish bone powder for the calcium. ( I picked up lots of big cuttlefish bone on the beach. I placed 2 into the blender with lots of water. Those cuttlefish bone were pulverized into powder and the water decanted away. This was repeated a few times to make sure the cleansing was complete.)
2 portions or 100 grams of millet seeds were added. With constant stirring to prevent sticking to the pot bottom, boiling was maintained for 10 minutes. Mrs Jabry and daughter were good to stir the pot to allow me ciggie breaks. The grated sweet potatoes and grated carrots were then added. I was running out of space in the pot. I kept telling myself to get a bigger pot but procrastination got in the way together with that subconscious desire to maintain space in freezer for my icecream. I had to alternate a handful of sweet potatoes and a handful of grated carrots until I could add no more. I probably used 2/3 of those amount. 2 heaped tablespoon of wheat germ than added and stirred into the pot.


With the pot boiling, again, I removed the pot and left it on a wooden chopping block.
Wrapped two towels around the pot to retain the heat and continue cooking and left it overnight.


The next morning, my wife and I packaged the mash into sandwich bags. We got 25 bags out of them, each bag good for 6-7 days feeding.
That Mash Batch 6 was cooked around early Sept 09. I was down to my last bag of Batch 6 on the day of cooking Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7. Other batches ran out earlier because I kept giving that away. Also from time to time, I might add yolk of hard boil egg into a baggie. Or I cooked some mince meat and added to the baggie . I also added ‘foraging’ in last couple of months. Those people I gave the mash to told me their parrot just love the mash. But I guess they were too embarrassed to keep asking me for the mash since I refused to sell them.



Tinkerbell mash Batch 7 taste good with a hint of sweetness.
Perhaps I should cook up a batch, mix some honey in it to market around the world as Tinkerbell High Fibre High Protein & Energy bars for humans. Please make your advance order now. You know exactly how it is made and what you are getting for your money.

Try not to fight with your parrot over that.

(editted on 30 Mar 2010 to add below)

The baggies must be kept in the freezer, with one thawed baggie in the fridge.
I feed about 25-30 grams of mash mixed with chopped vege salad/fruits in morning.
Another feed of 25-30 grams of mash mixed with chopped vege salad/fruits when I get back for lunch.

In addition some sunflower seeds/almonds/fruits placed in foraging points as well as used as treats for Riamfada.

(see below for foraging points)
Riamfada foraging // 3 days 2 nights at Wadi Bani Awf and ending of this chapter

(editted on 12 June 2010 to add below)

I believe the mash can remain good for the entire day. At least in Riamfada's room kept at 24-25C.

Read the report done on 11 & 14 June 2010 and you decide for yourself.

Month of soccer // Cyclone Phet & Riamfada neighbourhood hide & seek // Mash eating

Hand of Clod //3 hour and day old Mash // Outdoor hide&seek recalls

See also the making of Tinkerbell mash batch 8
with changes and further improvement on batch 7
Iceland and Goldman // Jebel Akhdar // Tinkerbell mash batch 8

added on 20 Aug 2010

see the making of Tinkerbell Mash Batch 9
with changes and further improvement on batch 8
Pakistan//mind of parrot//Tinkerbell Mash Batch 9//Riamfada pulling up cup//Villa walkabout

and kitty mash as well
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2



(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside

You might like to see
Buwah Free Flight 2 // Wadi Harban // Riamfada with Jabris again


shanlung: Chile // Riamfada free flights at the edge of Rub Al Khali


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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