The decline in migratory shorebird numbers is becoming alarming. The Eastern Curlew is but one of many shorebirds that has a conservation status of: Threatened. Fewer numbers are returning each […]
The decline in migratory shorebird numbers is becoming alarming. The Eastern Curlew is but one of many shorebirds that has a conservation status of: Threatened. Fewer numbers are returning each Spring. In fact some have decided to actually stay over and spend the whole year on our beaches and river tidal flats for they know the journey north has become more perilous as the Asian countries where they usually stop to refuel and rest, have reclaimed and continue to reclaim many of their feeding grounds for human industry. In addition to this people from these countries continue to kill the birds when they land to sell them for food at their local markets. BirdLife International has been trying to stop this practice by educating and assisting poachers to farm domestic fowl if they agree not to poach.
Did you know the Eastern Curlew population worldwide has reduced by 80% in 40 years due primarily to human activity ? One of the great qualities of our own Australian indigenous population is that they cared for the land and never took more from it than they needed each day. They valued the balance and saw themselves as part of the ecosystem. They did not rape the land for their own selfish gain. Species only became extinct in Australia when the European settlers bearing rifles came to Australia, indiscriminately shooting everything that moved, because they could or because it threatened their introduced agricultural techniques. BirdLife International along with BirdLife Australia and American conservation groups are trying to install measures to preserve the remaining migratory bird numbers. Their unusually long curved beak enables them to pry well below the wet sand to retrieve small crustaceans and worms.
This is one of the reasons this, our largest and most eaten migratory wader, is so shy and afraid of humans. The sighting of a person on the beach they are on will send them off making their classic alarm cry. Below is a photo of what we use to see each Summer.
This Spring, and now Summer, we have not seen the return of our Godwits. Other birders have also commented in different parts of our east coast and other parts of the world, that they also have noted the same with other species of migratory shorebirds. These photos are of a pair that did return or have stayed over. Other than these, we have seen no others as yet. The one Eastern Curlew does have a partner who has flown off earlier, but this is all we ever see here now, and usually flying off with their alarm call. Click on photos to enlarge them.
Now for the first time we have become concerned for our Bar-tailed Godwit, which I mentioned last week had not returned to our beaches as yet. This pair is all we could find of this amazing wader having a slightly upward curved beak having a similar diet to the Curlew. Again on sighting me, they flew off, which usually does not accur so quickly with this bird.
Unlike our non migratory wader, the Pied Oystercatcher, which is now endangered here due to human and dog destruction of their beach nests, the local conservationists have lobbied local councils in some areas to build islands, such as the one on the river in Botany Bay to allow them and other waders to breed undisturbed.
We have entered a time of the escalation of the extinction of many different species, of our native birds and animals, while ferule and introduced species from northern hemisphere flourish often at the expense and demise of our own.
Have a wonderful week and do not forget to check out my website and books here online from my home page, if you are new to my weekly blog.
One comforting and assuring truth that we both experience, is that of knowing there is Someone Much Greater and more able than ourselves looking out for our best interests. One of the amazing experiences of our relationship with our Lord Jesus and our Father God, is his answers to prayer and at times the miracles that occur when he answers in humanly explainable ways, which can only be God. Many can testify to God’ s goodness and I would like to share about my mobile phone, which some of you know I had recently lost on a birding walk.
My phone had fallen off the belt clip while I was filming near the low tide shore line without me realizing and I did not notice it missing till I reached home some time later. I immediately drove back and re walked all the places I had gone, including the tidal mangroves, where thankfully the water had not reached the area I had walked yet. It could not be found. I phoned my wife who later came with me to check again and it was still not found. BY now the tide had come in and if I had lost it on the beach tidal flats it would be under water. We both were praying that God would recover the phone and that someone would find it and return it. We did not know how they would do that, or if they would be honest, and try to hack it or misuse it. We prayed for a miracle of God’s grace and favor believing that God would act on our behalf. While we had a peace about it, we remained concerned should it fall into the wrong hands as these phones today contain so much of our lives and identity. FindMy was not set up on my iphone.
My wife remained very positive about it that it would be found, and by the next morning on not hearing anything or having rung around police stations and still no phone, I became despondent. She started loudly playing worship music of hope and God’s provision and I began to be re encouraged. My wife’s mobile phone rang and a lady told her that her 3 year old daughter found my phone floating on the tide in the water that morning and it was still working so she was able to get the emergency contact number from it to phone her.
As we’re praising God we immediately went to visit the lady and her daughter who handed the sand ridden phone to me, which was still working and we thanked her, giving two of my books. The little girls loved the bird book and held it close to her chest in delight. Her mum believed it was also a miracle, and we were all so thankful that this honest person returned it to us. The phone had travelled in and out on the tide, as it was lost on the sand and it may have been covered by water even when we went looking for it.
After cleaning out the sand from its ports and cover and recharging it (though it still had a little charge left) it has been working ever since, well over a week. This certainly is a miracle which is unexplained in human terms. God acted on our behalf to bless us with an answer to our prayers as we left the problem with him. When we ask with faith and rest in him to answer, believing he will, he will be on our case for us. He loves to bless his children who trust in him. We give him all the thanks, praise and glory for he alone is worthy of it all.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6,7 (NLT)
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.” – Psalm 107:28 (NIV)
<<< Back to Top of Page >>>
To introduce people to our amazing Australian Birds
To learn from them better ways of living a healthy happy life
Adv. Dip. of Counselling and Family Therapy
© W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023