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From:  shan lung <shanlung9@y...>
Date:  Mon Nov 17, 2003  
Subject:  Bird whisperer of TsaoLing

Hey folks,

I   will get to answering your letters, but first I got
to   talk about a bird whisperer I met last weekend at

Let   me tell you about this place called TsaoLing. I
have   wanted to go there, in fact, tried about 6 times
to   get there. That is about 60 km from where I stay
in   Chiayi and on paper, does not seem that far away.

A   week ago, I talked about my visit to SanLinSee, a
place   I did not go because it was written as Sun Link
Sea   making it sound like a tacky place to me.
TsaoLing   was described in a book as a fascinating
mountain   resort at 980 meters high. Considering that
there   are so many places of 2000 to 3000 meters high,
that   980 meters did not sound like much. It does not
take   too much for a procrastinator like me to
procrastinate   and 980m seemed quite puny.

So   as I tried to make my way there with Joy and
Tinkerbell   in the past, I found so many delightful
places   along the way that begged to be stopped at,
roses   to smell, that I never made it to TsaoLing.
With   my wife away in UK, I decided to make a
determined   effort this time on my bike with Tink
riding   in front. In fact, while getting to TsaoLing,
I   found another two delightful area that will required
revisits   from me at a later stage. If I had not had
my   mind set on getting there this time, this would
have   been a very different letter.

Eventually,   I got to TsaoLing. 980 meters high only
partially   described that place. What I did not know
until   I got there is that TsaoLing is set in a massive
gorge   and resting on a knoll about 980 meters high but
with   mountains up to 3000-4000 meters in front of it
and   behind it.

That   was a stunning place to be in and I fell in love
with   it even as I was riding down towards the town to
check   into a hotel.

I   then saw this beautiful little temple a little bit
further   down. The first photo is of this temple as
seen   from around the hotel and the next couple of
shots   were taken in that lovely Zen temple complex.


(more photos added as flickr allows many more shots in folder)

Some   of the flight photos also have been taken here.

Tinkerbell   and me have always attracted people.
Although   it can be a bit tiresome (like answering for
the   100th time 'does she talk?'), I do try to remain
nice   and to tell them how to keep and look after a
parrot   in case that cross their minds later and they
remember   me and Tinkerbell.

It   was after dinner and I was just about to get to my
room   with Tinkerbell. A local lady approached me and
told   me she enjoyed watching me recalling Tinkerbell.
I   nodded my head politely. She then invited me over
to   her house saying that she got birds too. I thought
in   my mind that I do not care to see birds in cages
and   probably miserably kept and was thinking of how to
refuse   her invitation as diplomatically as possible.

She   was rather insistent saying her house is just a
couple   of minutes away and I reluctantly went along
thinking   I will just excuse myself after a short

When   I walked inside the house, I was stunned to see
her   husband with an open cage and beautiful little
white   eyed thrush feeding from his hand. (Note: I do
not   know the names of the birds I saw. I call them by
generic   names. If you do know the birds, please tell
me   what they are.)

He   introduced himself as Mr Lin and told me he enjoyed
the   recall show he saw earlier on with Tinkerbell.

That   thrush flew away when I came nearer but he
returned   at Mr Lin's cue to continue feeding.

A   wild grouse was running about on the floor and with
short   hops and flap of wings flew up to chair and down
again,   all very much at ease with Mr Lin.

We   had a long delightful conversation. He told me
those   are wild birds. He is apparently very well
known   in town for his ability to look after birds and
injured   birds and animals are brought to him for R&amp;R.

He   said that thrush was newly fledged when it stunned
itself   against a glass window and brought to him. It
stayed   with him for over a year. It had full run of
the   house and with open doors and windows, will go out
as   well but will always return in the evening.

The   grouse was left behind trapped in a puddle of
water   when its mom ran away and was again brought over
to   him and with him for 2 years now. It was even more
delightful   to me when he told me the grouse will go
and   do its toilet in the garden and get back to play
with   him.

He   cheerfully told me that rest of the folks think he
is   a bit round the bend in the way he treated wildlife
and   we laughed sensing that we do have a very common
bond   in our relationships with animals. He is by far
my   superior. His charges are wild unlike most of our
fids   which are breed and already used to humans. And
yet,   he developed such amazing bonds with them that
they   followed him about the house. They have full run
to   the outside but they chose to stay on with him.

I   know I should have asked how he trained them and I
will   the next time I go back there. In the
conversation,   he struck me with his gentleness with
the   creatures and with his emphasis on how important
it   is to understand their feelings. So instead of
talking   about training as I should, we talked about
the   feelings of birds and animals.

He   emphasised that he never yearned to keep the birds
with   him and his main focus is to help them recover
and   let them go. Of course, if they like to stay,
they   are welcomed to stay too.

While   we were talking, a blue glossy starling kept
hopping   and flying above us in the rafter. He told me
that   starling is still very shy and too wary of
Tinkerbell   and myself to come down. That came via an
unfortunate   collision with glass window.

He   then introduced me to two tiny birds that flew to
him   the moment the cage was opened and taking turns to
be   feed from a syringe.

He   told me he had kept the beautiful Taiwan blue
magpie,   hawks and eagles before they eventually left

There   was this little squirrel running all over and
too   curious about Tinkerbell for my liking. We both
were   concerned that both may be hurt and that little
squirrel   was kept away.

It   was getting really late and regretfully, I had to
go.   I am glad I meet a real bird whisperer, Mr Lin of

The   next time I get back, I will be taking him a
present   of a clicker and will be exchanging notes with
him   on clicker training and I will be lapping up all
the   pearls that he can cast before me.


With   warmest regards

Joy   - wife, Tinkerbell - CAG &amp; surrogate daughter

earlier   emails and photo links on Tink -