Sunday 7 February 2016

Alarm call

One early morning this week, we were sat up in bed drinking our 'wake up' mug of tea and staring at screens bringing the latest news from around the world, mostly bad. There was still an hour to go before sunrise, but despite the gloom there came a sound, drifting in through the open window and assailing our ears for the first time since last August.

Has it really been six months?

There was no mistaking the strident piping from several individuals which announced that the Oystercatchers were back. A very few of these strikingly-plumaged waders are seen around these shores throughout the Winter, and larger flocks of returners have been spotted in recent weeks, foraging in rockpools and flooded fields near the coast. But here was a positive indication that the year is slowly rotating towards the renewal of life, as birds begin prospecting further inland.

We celebrated with a second mug of tea and a shared smile at the clarion call heralding the approach of Spring.


Katie (Nature ID) said...

I've been intrigued by your seasonal mentions of seeing oystercatchers where you live, so I finally looked them up online. Who knew there were several species around the world? Here in Pacific Grove, we have black oystercatchers all year with nesting. In fact, last summer a photographer fell off a ledge while attempting to photograph a couple oystercatcher nestlings, and he needed the full five-alarm rescue. The City with all its fear of being sued again (remember the lady who died watching monarch butterflies?) ended up fencing off access to the cliff nests to keep people from inadvertently harming themselves in their awe of nature.


Imperfect and Tense said...

Indeed, who knew there were so many species. But Blackish AND Black? And then the Variable one whose specific name is unicolor? That doesn't sound so variable. As regards sue-age, a work colleague once remarked to me that stupid folk doing stupid things that ended with their untimely end was basically just evolution in action.