shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

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


Month of soccer lotus eating

One whole month of soccer matches loom ahead with the first match starting tonight in 6 hours time in South Africa abit with sadness of the death of Mandela's great granddaughter. A feast for soccer fans all around the world. Right now I am at home with Riamfada tamely on her bar perch next to me. I just gave her a shower and she flew from perch to bar to dry off periodically while whistling away. If not for that shower, she would be chewing up my sofa and cushions and remote controls if not chasing Dom and Katie about.

I am listening to the replay of opening live concert on with Riam on bar perch whistling away.

I hope the loudest sounds next month will have only the sounds of vuvuzela horns. Not the sound of explosions such as in recent wedding in Afghanistan.

Or the bang of guns as Israelis showed how horrifying excellent they are at killing people without arms on boats the way they can kill with white phosphorus shells on schools in Gaza.

The latest news that the leak is likely to be 40,000 barrels of oil a day instead of that 5000 barrels BP had said make my stomach turn. May the coming month bring some cheer and help us to forget the oil coated pelicans and birds and reeds and wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico. Or that wildlife from birds to shrimps to crabs to fishes to the blue fin tunas are spawning in that area now.

We saw Germany now without the Euros to help their own Germans to hold on to jobs in Opel factories after Merkel paid and paid for Greece and Spain who then went on strike that they are continued to be paid what they are accustomed to be paid.

The pendulum swung the other way from stimulus spending to get out of recession to the nightmare ahead that national debt created can have horrifying impacts. Even Japan is under the risk of being buried under her national debt is frightening.

May the insanity of World Cup soccer help us with blinkers and rose tinted glasses at least for the month ahead.


Cyclone Phet & Riamfada neighbourhood hide & seek

More photos in flickr folder 'Cyclone Phet '

On the weekend over 27 & 28 May, we had to go to Dubai at last moment leaving Muscat on 26 Wednesday late afternoon. It was so sudden that I felt embarrased to call Jabris to leave Riamfada with them at last moment.

I filled her room foraging pots with sunflower seeds/almonds/brazil nuts and left her the mash before we left late afternoon.

We came back on 28 May and found she ate 29 grams of mash. That was very interesting as it was un-likely that she ate the mash the day we left and she must have taken the mash the next day. That she ate the mash despite all the sunflower seeds/almonds/brazil nuts left for her. My earlier assumption that the mash would go sour in 3-4 hours must have been wrong and would be tested out over the next few weeks.

We did not go anywhere the following weekend on the 3rd to 4th June.

Cyclone Phet was making a bee line for Oman and Muscat. Warnings that it was a Category 5 storm were given to all people here to stay at home and be safe. Wadis which are dry river beds can become deadly raging torrents of water with frightening speed with rain. With a lot of rain, they become that much more deadly.

5th June, Saturday was declared a public holiday in Oman so people need not have to go to school or office.

Phet hit us on the 4th June. It was down to Cat 3 but brought a lot of rain. So much so that people instead of remaining at home, took to driving out to satisfy their puerile curiousity how driving about in rain seldom seen in Oman.

We drove on the road on Friday and found we were not alone. Even in our neighbourhood area far away from wadi, it was flooded.

More photos in flickr folder 'Cyclone Phet '


The rain stopped by end of Friday and it was bright sunshine the next day Saturday public holiday.

We went out again thinking of going to Al Felaj dam. We found the roads to be blocked in many places by the floods.

Where Riam was flown to amusement of herself and everyone.






At Wadi Fanja


More photos in flickr folder 'Cyclone Phet '

Phet brought with it some cooler days. It was a comfortable 28C instead of very high 30s to low 40s.

That was good until this weekend when it got back to high 30s again.

Neighbourhood walks were more enjoyable. As mentioned, we tend to go to this unoccupied villa across the road with her big semi wild garden. Especially as the kitties would come with us and poo in that garden. It was fascinating to see how Dommie prepared for that, He would crouch and dig very intently. Then he would swing his body 60 degrees to dig at same spot, and again repeat that swinging his body another 60 degrees. He would have dug a perfect round hole about 8 inches deep before he would make use of it. If it was poo, he would crouch over the hole, kind of tiptoeing on all fours with bum raised above the ground. If it was pee, he would do it very low down with bum almost touching the ground and not on tip toes. He then would cover the results, with 60 degree turn of body each time.

I used to provide litter box which I thought was big. But seeing him or Katie doing that in the open, even the most humongous litter box would be far too small for cats.

We do flights with Riamfada of course. She loved those recalls, more often than not, refusing any treats. She would take whats offered in her beak in acknowledgement after her flights, and then dropped that to the ground be it sunflower seed or almonds. She then bend her head for head rubs or she would beak rub herself on tip of my finger.

The villa we went to was two storey, a fair size building.
I decided to try some hide & seek recalls with Riamfada in the open instead of the regular line of sight recalls.

Leaving Riam with my wife, I walked away and around a corner of the villa and called her. I could hear the flap of her wings as she responded immediately and soon saw her as she flew around the side of the villa to me. That happened over a few days of neighbourhood walks.

I then thought how about 2 corners of the building. So leaving Riam with my wife, I walked away, first around one corner of the villa and then around the other corner of the villa and called for her.

Riamfada beautifully responded and in a short time, was in sight and heading my way landing on my shoulder. Over the course of a few days, that 2 corner hide and seek recalls were done again and again and again.

Until I took it for granted.

Now, with Phet and the drop of temperature, I noticed the magpies flying about carry twigs. Almost as if the drop of temperature confused them and re-kindered their nesting instints.

After the earlier paranoia of neighbourhood magpies, and not having any problems with them, they left my mind.

Or I became complacent.

Or good old Murphy decided to stir himself, you decide.

A couple days ago, I did that 2 corner hide and seek recall at the villa. In being so close to that villa, I failed to notice magpies above on the roof. They however noticed us and Riamfada in particular.

I called Riamfada who flew to me. Just as she turned that last corner, I saw two magpies swooping down on her from the roof. Riam put on a burst of speed and went passed me. The magpies decided I was too near and flew over to a lamp post. Riamfada then hovered and returned to my shoulder.

Though it went well, I got spooked by that incident.

To the point the last few days the hide and seek recalls became a one corner recall. And after I checked the roof of the villa for magpies.

I take pride in my hindsight.

Even so, simple recalls can raise blood pressure. It was a simple recall I did yesterday in that garden. Riam flew to me, hovered in front of me, and then decided the other side of the garden wall was more interesting and flew away. As she was heading to a tree, I had no choice but to take in line and saw Riamfada dropping to the ground. I shouted to my wife at the gate to go quickly to the backlane on other side of that wall to make sure Riam be safe. Then Riamfada must have seen my wife walking fast to her and she flew up from the ground and landed on the wall. She gave a call that sounded suspiciously to me like a laugh and flew to my shoulder. As if it was a parroty joke on both of us.

Then on the walk back to our villa, I did a traditional simple 40 meters down the road recall with me in front of our villa. She took off ok from my wife. She flew to me but up and up and up. And went on beyond me which was not funny as there were low trees. I was reeling in line like crazy and was about to reel her in as well. She then did a beautiful arabesque of turning on a dime to do a swooping dive back to me. At last moment, she flared her wings and beat a couple of times to land like feather on my shoulder to be taken back into villa.

You all understand no photos taken of such stuff as they came on unexpected and I had no way , or desire , to tell Riamfada to do that again for my wife to photo.


Even More of how much mash Riam ate

The explanation of mash measurements and preambles should be read in the last couple of reports.

In that Dubai trip, Riamfada showed me clearly she would take mash despite abundance of other food stuff in her room and that she would take the mash despite left over night.

The ambience tenmperature of her room was at 24-25C with her own split unit aircond.

The foraging jars in her room still contained lots of sunflower seeds/almonds/brazil nuts I left then for her to eat as she wanted. I had thought she would take from all of the jars. I noticed instead that she would focused on a jar until it was empty before she took from another jar. So the foraging jar on her perch was taken from with empty shells left on the ground below. The the foraging jar on the basket perch was taken from until all empty yesterday. I guess she would be taking from the foraging jar left on the bar perch now.

In the past, I thought the mash would sour in 3-4 hours and I would changed the mash when I came back for lunch. This experiment was done in case in future I am unable to be back home for lunch. Indeed, for those reading this too in case they do not get home for lunch to change the mash.

In addition, abundance of sun flower seeds/almonds/brazil nuts were left with Riamfada. I continued to include fruits of cherries that she seemed to like.

The mash was introduced in the morning and left through the day.

I continued to record just how much mash Riam ate measuring that as before.

These are the records

26 May wed
Riamfada ate 12 grams in the morning.

Then 112 grams (bowl is 62 grams) left and was weight at 83 on 28 May Friday afternoon when we got back.

She ate 29 grams over Thursday

Mash changed when I got back from lunch but with other food in abundance in her room

29 May sat

total = 20 gm

30 May sun
L=1+ 4
total = 16 gm

31 May mon
total = 32 gm

1 Jun tue
L=9+ 2
total = 30 gm

2 Jun wed
L=3+ 2
total = 10 gm

3 Jun thu
L=4+ 4
total = 16 gm

4 Jun fri
L=7+ 1
total = 21 gm

The mash now not replaced during lunch time.

5 Jun sat
total = 20 gm

6 Jun sun
The mash was weighed when I came back for lunch at 86 grams. After 30 minutes, I weighed it to find it as 87 grams. I then looked in the bowl and found 7-8 pieces of almonds and brazil nuts. Riam took that from foraging points and flew back to the cage to place them in the mash bowl as parroty joke.

I removed those nuts to find weight to be 82 grams or that she ate 4 grams during my lunch period. Final weight at end afternoon was 80 or 2 grams in afternoon

total =23 gm

7 Jun mon
L=5+ 3
total = 19 gm

8 Jun tue
total = 21 gm

9 Jun wed
total = 8 gm

It was clear the mash stay good for the whole day. In presence of plenty of sunflower seeds, Riam showed she would happily eat the mash through the day.

I decided to extend the experiment. I left the mash over the night to see if she would take the mash early in the morning before I woke up to go to her room.

10 Jun thu

Riam ate 6 grams of that mash left over the night. Day break at 510 am while I woke up at 655 am

I then gave fresh mash

total = 6+10+8= 24 gm

11 jun fri today

Riam ate 6 grams of that mash left over the night.

M=3 grams

Riamfada was largely out in living room with me for the morning and afternoon.

She is right now on my knee preening herself.

It is clear the mash is good at least for 24 hours without refridgeration at room temp of 25C

I need not change her mash during lunch. Mash from morning left overnight will still be eaten by her.

That will be enough for me. I will not extend experiment further, or bother to report the weighing of the mash anymore.

I will record more for my own records.


Important old letters on harness
Harness for flighted parrots – To Nick and folks

August, 2005.

‘ cargo cult'

'Ramadan & Kitties on beach// Chess -1st Saturday IM Tournament // Tinkerbell Harness for Piper '

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


If you like the photos here, they are all taken by my wife and uploaded on my behalf by her.

She has her own sets of photos in her Flickr account here



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


For those that through no fault of their own, or otherwise, and had to part painfully and unwillingly from their beastie or birdies, whether in the past, or the present, or in the future, I dedicate the saga of Riamfada that I had wrote , and continue to write to that final handover , to you all.


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