Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Oh my godwits
This morning was breathtaking at the bay - not a breath of wind. I was up early to be amazed by the sight of a mirror-calm harbour. The water was more still and glassy than I've ever seen it there, and I do believe this is the first time there has been no wind at all, not even a tiny breeze, in the spot we've come to know as "the wind tunnel". And bonus - there was a flock of godwits just out the front stalking the shore in the gently advancing tide, their reflections shimmering around them. They're looking pretty tubby now, their rotund well-fed shapes contrasting markedly with their thin appearance when they first appeared back from their round-trip to Alaska.
I was inspired to sit out in the sunny calm morning after breakfast and read Janet Hunt's new book E3 Call Home: A true story of godwit migration and misadventure (Random House NZ 2009). What a treat! Ostensibly a children's book (with a charming space to write a name on the "This Book Belongs To" plate inside the front cover) this thin glossy book would also be a good gift for anyone else too. I know my Mum would have loved to leaf through it, in her last bedridden years of failing health. She liked to look at colourful easy books, and they had to be light because she was so weak. For the rest of us bird lovers, this picture book offers a lively and informative text and makes a nice companion to the substantial and authoritative recent publication by Keith Woodley, Godwits: Longhaul Champions (Penguin NZ 2009). I am lucky enough to have both books in the still-expanding bird library, and highly recommend them both.