-For some reason, I have to say, I’ve never really grasped the concept of the ‘celebration’ of passing from December 31 in one year to 01 January the following year.
I’m not anti party, and a good excuse to indulge in a tad of fun, mirth and frivolity is all good by me. But, to make such a big deal about one more sleep, well, it just hasn’t firmed up enough to be a conviction. As Thoreau once wrote on another subject, “Moreover, I have tried it fairly, and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution”.
So EE and I pondered our options. Get on the train, got to the city and with hundreds of thousands of other like-minded folk, watch fire works, sing a Scottish song about times and seasons, and then fight for a seat on the train home, and get to bed by 4:00am.
Option 2. Sit at home to watch it on the telly.
Option 3. Join in the street party celebrations that our neighbourhood party dudes had invited us to.
Option 4. Drink bubbly, eat food, and hopefully stay awake until “the Witching hour” with some people who seem to think a good time must include bubbly.
Option 5. Hang about around a table with some locals, consume way too much alcohol and ‘See which one of us can tell the biggest lies” —Cold Chisel.
Or perhaps, we could pack a picnic, throw in the deckchairs and go look for birds at Outlet 145W in the Treatment Plant.
Done. Why didn’t we think of it earlier.
With a minimum of planning that is the way went.
145W can be a great place for waders as the outflow has created quite a large flat sandy stretch that has room for thousands of waders.
So I came to the conclusion that sitting on a deckchair, listening to the wavelets lapping on the edge of the sand, the waders all chirping in the background and chatting with my very best friend as we watched the sun sink on the horizon, and the waders fly up and down did in fact, “Agree with my consitution”.
I’ve shown inflights from 145W on the blog before, and a couple of summers back, my Flickr mate Lynzwee sat on the same rocks and we used up several batteries and memory cards between us as the birds moved back and forth.
We managed this time to get to the beach right on low tide, and from there a constant stream of waders moved through the area as the tide turned.
Firstly, the little short-legged Red-necked Stints, then as the water rose a few millimetres, the Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and Curlew Sandpipers moved in. The tide came in more, and the next group were Red-necked Avocet. And a little later the longer-legged Pied Stilts took over.
I sat on the rocks of the outlet, it divides the beach into two. Flat areas either side. The birds having flown 13,000km to get here for the summer, are not adverse to flying a couple of hundred metres along the beach for better feeding opportunities and fly right by the end of the outflow. Straight into my lens 🙂
Well if it were that easy anyone could do it.
These little dudes put on a turn of speed as they go by, and as they are so close getting them in the viewfinder and keeping them there is a challenge.
So while others oohed and ahhed with fireworks, or bubbly, or sang songs, I watched—with my kinderd spirit— a parade of well-travelled birds enjoy the evening light.
Here’s some Red-necked Stints