'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Kuaka - the Bar-tailed Godwit.

At Miranda last weekend the Eastern Bar-tailed Godwits were looking decidedly fat and it won't be long before they begin to clump into flocks of about 20 - 50 and quietly and unobtrusively leave the Firth of Thames to begin their incredible journey north to Alaska for the summer. By April they will hopefully have found their Yellow Sea estuary* still rich in the marine worms they need to regain their weight. And then, after their stop of 4 weeks or so, they'll continue on the last leg to the Alaskan lowland tundra to mate, nest and raise their chicks.

*If it hasn't had a seawall built around it and been drained to make it useful. To people.


  1. These photos remind of the Christchurch estuary where I sailed as a young fella - I well remember the great flocks of birds (Godwits aplenty) on the mudbanks at various times of the year - especially when they were getting ready to fly North on their long journey. What an incredible distance they fly!

  2. Yes, they have their official "Goodbye to the Godwits' a little earlier than Miranda. Of course neither human goodbyes are of the slightest importance to the Godwits, who go just when they are ready.

    Unfortunately some kite-surfers near Thames last weekend assumed that since the 'Farewells' had been done and reported on national TV news, they were now free to resume their activities, which they did so, with great gusto, and scared off their roosting banks large numbers of Godwit, just at a time when they needed most to conserve their energy before their long journey north.

  3. The Godwits have probably all been farewelled by now. Let us hope they weather the storms and successfully complete their journeys.

    Me. Having started on your blog I shall return. It is fascinating and interesting.

    But now I shall finish off fot the day and go to my bed.