Stupid BehaviourI live in a coastal town and was fishing on the harbours breakwater with my family one Saturday afternoon when I spotted an 'arctic tern' floating in the water on the bay side. I could tell that it was injured and it must have been battling for a while as its head was just lolling from side to side in exhaustion.
After about ten minutes of watching this I decided to rescue the poor thing. I took off my shirt and jumped in and swam the 40 or so metres to the bird. This was not as easy as I had anticipated, while not actually being in the surf I was very surprised at how big the swells in the harbour were and the current seemed to push away from the breakwater.
Getting to the bird seemed to take forever as I was not as fit as I anticipated, but little did I know that the task ahead was considerably more work than getting there. Once I had safely gotten to the bird, I had to now make a plan of getting both of us back to the side. swimming against the current is a difficult task as it is, but trying to do it holding a bird (roughly the size of a sea gull) out of the water with one hand and swimming with the other is a task I thought would never end.
After 15 minutes I managed to hand the bird off to my nephew who was standing on the rocks waiting to help me out. It then took me another five minutes to find a suitable spot to climb out and time the swells perfectly to assist me back onto the rocks. I sat there for 5minutes just catching my breath, then finally made my way back up to the car and had a glass of coke.
The bird was just sitting there on the rocks and I thought that it would probably die soon. I dried off and carried on fishing. after an about an hour my GF called me to come and look at the bird. I reached the car and was amazed to see the bird had recovered some of its strength and was standing cleaning its feathers. after another hour it was walking around, unfortunately the birds wing was broken and it couldn't fly. It had recovered so well that I saw it running around there a month later and think that it might still be alive today. that was three months ago and I don't regret taking the risk.