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Critical that solitary shearwater rests

December 26, 2016

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After a possibly a long flight from the feeding grounds in Alaska this shearwater (commonly known as muttonbird) rested on the Norther NSW beach where I found him. He made no moves to evade me as I approached so I sat beside him whereupon he ignored me.img_4559

I have had a little experience with shearwaters during the big wreck in 2013 (https://open.abc.net.au/explore/59026 – watch the video and read the user generated comments to get a sense of the extent of the 2013 wreck). I knew that I could help him by giving him some shade so I found a safe place and moved him there. He accepted my help with only little whinging and biting. img_4567

When I sat him under the tree he slowly turned to face the Easterly wind and proceeded to rest, continuing to ignore me except for an occasional wink.img_4575

I lay beside him on the shady dune and took these photographs as I contemplated his fate. I wonder if that’s what he was doing. The likelihood sadly is that nature took its toll and my new feathered friend is now dead, however a rest can do wonders so it’s possible he recuperated enough to resume his long flight to join his buddies. Next time I visit Broken Head I will check to see if his body is there. Here’s hoping I’ll find nothing which could mean that I was able to help him on his way.

http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=5100

http://www.port-fairy.com/shearwaters.htm

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