Monday, 7 May 2012

For the love of mud

It's a fine line between mud and sea.

For the past few weeks, London has been stuck in that very British of paradoxes: A rather rainy drought. Now before you close this page in disgust, the weather is not the focus of this post. There will be no more mention of dought-brellas or drought-ingtons, believe me I am as frustrated by these throw away remarks as you dear reader. 

No, today I want to focus on the devastating effect a fairly insignificant amount of rain can reak when it all decides to come at once. Just a few days ago, I stumbled upon a BBC article which made me feel very sad indeed

All about the country, it seems that our much needed environmental hydration has tipped the scales to flood in some crucial areas. Those worst affected are the wonderful wanderers of the shoreline, the dippers in the mud, the snipes, shanks, plovers and all other birds that wade.

But I must confess to something. Yes, I am sad that the loods around the country are seriously impeeding the breading of our native waders. They are lovely birds and a joy to watch as they quietly move about the banks, ignoring the hum drum of the other birds. But their plight has also given me an opportunity to pull together a few of my snaps from my Christmas in New Zealand :) So here they are.

Lets start with this chap. Snapped down on the southern coast of the South Island, this is a Variable Oyster catcher. Interestingly, this fairly rare bird is the only oyster catcher that has a pure black variety. The population as a whole, true to their name, vary somewhat between a pied pattern to full black as you head south down the coast.

Im pleased to say that the group we saw seemed to be doing very well indeed, shepherding their clutch of chicks accross the petrified forest that made up the shoreline.

Any just to finish off this post (Ive been terribly busy recently organising events and preparing for exams that words are failing me somewhat), here are a couple of snaps I took of pied stilts up in the Mount Cook region. This delightful little bird introduced itself from Oz around 1800 and is thriving in its new home. Interestingly, I have read that they are masters of distraction when it comes to leading potential preditors away from their nests. Some have even been seen feigning injury to draw a foe over and away from their nests. A nice little account can be found at the link below.

So there you have it. A little expose for the waders. Spare a thought for them during this rainy rainy spring time

All images © William Bermingham 2012

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