Interesting Evening

by Tim Rogers December. 09, 2015 2236 views

I think it's the fastest I've ever gone from “oh MY” to “oh SHIT” in my life. I had headed down to Cape Woolamai where the late afternoon sky was signalling an almighty spectacular sunset over the ocean. The ocean however was having none of it and threw up a fog bank that completely blocked the sun and any hope of a dazzling orange sky and sea.

It's a long drive and I wanted to get some kind of picture so I walked along the coast, across rocks and beaches, sprinting from one outcrop to the next to avoid waves and climbing up small cliffs to get around to The Pinnacles at the south-eastern end. The tide was in and I knew I'd have to climb the cliff and walk back across the open fields. The walk was a solid workout. Want to get fit? Try rock-hopping. It took an hour to go not very far.

My Oh My to Oh Shit moment would come just on dark. Hundreds of thousands of muttonbirds flew in overhead from fishing expeditions off the coast. They literally blackened the sky. It was too dark to get a photo but observing such a migration was pretty amazing. They are small and noisy and swoop and glide like any other bird.

The Oh Shit moment dawned on me when I realised the only way back to the car was via their nesting grounds. Did I mention there were hundreds of thousands of them. They dig small burrows and they don't like to fly at night. So I had to walk about 5km through a bird-based mind field. Every step was a potential ankle snapping burrow entry or…worse still…a bird rendered flightless by the night. And they don't fear light. Instead of running away from the torchlight they run into it, stop and go under your feet. Three times my stride found a bird. Yep, I stepped on three of them. All three scampered off into the dark with a scream and a squawk. I think it's breeding season to, so their was a lot of sounds of avian amour going on around me. In the dark it's just a cacophony of screeches. A certain Hitchcock movie came to mind more than once.

When I reached the beach finally and cleaned the bird of my shoes, the cloud had lifted and the Milky Way plonked itself above the horizon. After a fog out and my night march through Muttonbird Manor, I had something.

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Chossid 3 years, 8 months ago

Lovely set and I really enjoy your narratives.

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Fatfatcats 3 years, 9 months ago

Amazing! Your landscape pictures are always great.

3 years, 9 months ago Edited
Delightfulpink 3 years, 9 months ago

omg i've never seen this before :) amazing!

3 years, 9 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 3 years, 9 months ago

Love #1.

3 years, 9 months ago Edited
Larry Sample 3 years, 9 months ago

You have something indeed! Great post!

3 years, 9 months ago Edited
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