‘Fluoro hero’ to the rescue of willy wagtail in Joondalup

Daniel Edwards set to climb the ladder and return the baby willy wagtail to its nest.
Daniel Edwards set to climb the ladder and return the baby willy wagtail to its nest.

SHE’S calling him her fluoro hero.

Toni Tonge works in a sleep clinic as a polysomnographic nurse but is otherwise known as the bird lady.

But not even the veteran wildlife carer could save a stricken baby willy wagtail and help its fretting mother.

Not, anyway, until Daniel Edwards from Kennards Hire Joondalup came to the rescue.

Toni had come across “the most adorable but very, very tiny” baby wagtail sitting on the pavement outside Grace Anglican Church in Boas Avenue.

She and a work colleague looked for a nearby nest for the “incredibly vulnerable looking” bird and found a “perfect little round” nest in a line of tall trees.

“The mum wagtail was freaking out as the public walked past,” Toni said.

“She was swooping one minute then bringing her baby an insect to feed it the next. Then she was flying up to feed the other babies in the tree.”

Efforts to find a way to get up in the tree –– such as getting a step ladder to put the baby back – failed.

“I knew I could take the baby and hand-rear it and it would be safe,” Toni said.

“But I could not bring myself to take this baby away from such an attentive but visibly distressed mum.”

She phoned rangers, the fire brigade and others to no avail and thought the baby would be dead by the time the RSPCA could attend from Malaga.

So she drove into the Winton Road business district and drove “panicked and frustrated” into Kennards Hire Joondalup.

Out came Daniel and she “poured out her story”.

He got the nod from his boss and drove around to the church with a 7.5m ladder.

“He had to climb a great height holding a tiny wiggly fragile baby and place it back without falling,” Toni said.

“He gently placed it back like an absolute pro. He is definitely a hero in fluoro.”

No fuss for Daniel. “I was just helping out,” he told Community News.