Migratory birds… astonishing really!
I’ve always had a keen interest in birds – with a small set of binoculars and Simpson and Day Bird book near the side door…but until this journey along the Northern Sea Route; I hadn’t really GOT it before.
This time, I wasn’t just looking at the feathers… or whether it had a dark line along it’s eye… I was actually just trying to get my head around firstly how so many birds can survive in these conditions; and then how they migrated from one hemisphere to another along flyways… often without even a rest!
How did they know how to do that? How do they know where to go?
Some of the species I’ve seen on the tidal flats locally at home near Bribie Island have flown from north of Siberia where we were!!! OMG… For me – I found that just astonishing!
Each species has a distinct path and schedule it follows. The parents have nesting areas; grow their chicks until they have enough feathers to fly; then the parents leave and head south to avoid the harsh winter… and then the chicks just somehow work out that they better fly south too!!!
I am just so in awe of these migratory birds… and also the ones which decided they prefer to tough it out in the freezing wind and ice!
I had no idea when I had a giggle to myself as I attended my first ‘Bird Club’ meeting aboard the Akademik Shokalskiy, the effect attending the meetings would have on me. I was just astonished the more I learned, and the more I connected with the birds I saw along our expedition.
I think this is what moved me most on this journey – developing a deeper respect and reverence for the birds and the natural world.