Bay Bitch: birds of a feather

The other morning I was pleasantly surprised by nature down on the cove. Everything seemed to be sparkling and the birdlife was seething.

I first came across a pelican patrolling up and down the Bay near Timbrell Park. It was fishing for its breakfast and seemed to be having some success. Its beak was half submerged with its eyes facing downwards, not allowing any fish to escape its exaggerated gulp.

I was quite amused and, frankly, more entertained by it than watching those sportster tryhards. But one unexpected moment buoyed me along the track.

I was intently watching the pelican devour its prey when another circuit walker caught my eye and we smiled together at nature in action. I felt a connection with this walker – we had witnessed something special together!

Less than a kilometre further on, near La Montage, I heard a repetitive loud squawk and looked up to find a large rather fluffy, white bird sitting in the bough of a Casuarina tree. I was trying to identify this unusual bird, when a common magpie flew towards it with a writhing insect jammed in its beak which it promptly transferred into the oversized baby bird’s mouth. Nature at work, I thought. A couple of runners had paused to watch and looked at me in astonishment. They informed me it was a cuckoo bird and would have been born in the magpie’s nest. Within the same hour I had once again united with sportsters over nature.

The magpie’s acceptance of a stranger in its home was truly inspiring and somehow symbolic of the Inner Westies supporting Syrian refugees nesting in our own Callan Park. But perhaps even more inspiring was that sportsters made eye contact and interacted with each other over nature. No app could do that!

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