Well I have had almost three days in Miranda shorebird centre and it has been truly fantastic. I have basically done nothing but walk, watch birds, avoid getting wet, walk-in my new disco boots and write letters.
I have been drinking green tea and honey and eating potato casserole. I have had one hot shower, one chocolate bar, one flask of coffee, two cheese sandwiches, two bowls of porridge and have bought 10 gorgeous match boxes with paintings of birds on with I am going to frame.
I have actually been out birdwatching for 8 hours in total in 3 days, not bad for a beginner! I have seen all sorts of birds, not all whose names I can remember but the ones I do know are …. Kingfisher, Heron, Totterings(?), Oyster catchers. Ooh and I think I saw a couple of Shags? I am going to have to check my chart.
Today the weather was beautiful in a very mixed kinda way, I mean I am in New Zealand …. one of the most beautiful things about it ...is its mixed weather … especially by the coast - its changes so quickly.
It is winter over here you BRITS! Just in case you had forgotten!
Today's weather has been mainly heavy showers, BIG variety of BIG clouds, sun and rainbow weather.
Today there were two rainbows - one complete one and later on another little one in a different place entirely.
It was very nice.
HA! Very nice. Understatement of the year. New Zealand is nice.
It really is absolutely beautiful in places, I mean really really beautiful. Yeah, tell you something you don't know.
BUT these are places that actually make you think.
I think 'Whoahhhh, I want to think' and then you get stuck and you think 'what should I think?'
Then after a minute or so you usually do start and all sorts of stuff comes around and you kind of think about that for a second and then you think about something entirely different and then something entirely different again. Weird. When I became a twitchy here at Miranda shorebird centre two days ago, doing a slow environmentally safe and supportive sport for the very first time in my life… SESASS? Slow, Environmentally Safe and Supportive Sport!
Anyway…I didn't really realise how much thinking was involved.
And I have come to the conclusion that it is good for you AND the birds.
And the fir cones...
A place like this is an instant 'discovery survey' of whether you are relaxed or not.
I have decided that I am on the way to relaxed but not there yet. (I think some friends would laugh here.)
I am definitely more relaxed now I am ending my third month, have traveled a bit, got new comfy disco boots and am back in control of my life.
I am also amazed by the fact that when you get to the WATCH about a mile away from the centre/ hostel… a lovely walk through mangroves and shelly beach … and you sort of arrive…. stand up and sit down and get your flask out and pour a coffee and remember the binoculars are in your bag and you get them out and you stand there and you think 'What the hell am I going to do now?'
You look around a bit and you think Wow.
What a place.
Then you have a bit of coffee, then it starts to shower, so you go inside the Watch, put another jumper on and a hat, sit down, open the view window which is long and thin and then have a slurp of coffee, look around the hut. You look at your watch, think about when will stop raining. THEN you look down the mud flats and you take a look through the bins and there suddenly are 5 different species of birds all feeding and sucking up worms from the shore. Frantically hopping, strutting, rooting (UK translation not Ozzie) flocking and diving.
Its really fabulous.
And you are constantly trying to get the bins to focus and you are wearing your wet glasses and then the hourglasses steam up and so you have another slurp of coffee, they steam up more, as do your glasses and then you blew your nose and then you spot a new bit of action down on the beach and realise a heron has landed and you watch tat for a bit and your think wow that's amazing and you are transfixed and a little irritated at the same time as you cant quite focus.
Yesterday I had the telescope which was so much better but a bit of a pain to carry on the walk but worth it. I watched an Oyster Catcher carry an oyster up the sand and crack it open with its long red beak and then prize it open more and then suck a bit flabby insipid Oyster from the shell and swallow it whole as if it was a segment of mandarin.
Here is a piece of driftwood in the shape of a bird.
Aghh come on …. its exciting!
Especially when you get your cheese sandwiches out and a bit later you peel an orange.
All the time, thinking thinking.
Putting the world to rights.
Louron Heron A Tu Ron Ron.