what a pair

autumn loss

mutual support


During our recent holiday in Warrnambool we were driving back from the Warrnambool Breakwater beside a little bay near Middle island, (where Oddball the movie was filmed) when we spotted this pair of Australian Pied Oystercatchers. Not having  photos records  of this bird I stopped the car and quickly made my way down onto the beach and slowly approached the oystercatchers. They were standing close to the water amongst piles of seaweed. When they began to look at me I stopped and set up the monopod with my 500 ml telephoto. Looking through the lens close up at them I had to check and then re check what I was seeing. Both birds had single legs, one was right legged the other had a left leg. Moving a little closer caused them to hop away from me so I began shooting. Neither bird seems distressed and both appeared well fed and in sound condition. What amazing resilience occurs in the natural world, could humans get over such a loss without any assistance?? Also what a co-incidence they should find each other and pair up. Back home at the next Bayside Birds evening I asked the group how common leg loss was with these birds who generally forage on the shoreline and in shallow water. Apparently such accidents are common and are generally caused by pieces of discarded fishing line wrapping around the leg  with disastrous results. Just one more example of humans pursuing their own agenda with little regard for their impact on the natural environment.

These images were waiting for the one a week Photo Challenge challenge and this week it is PAIR.  Here is my contribution . For this years 52 weekly challenges planned by Cathy and Sandra visit Cathy’s blog at  https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/one-a-week-photo-challenge-2017/


26 thoughts on “what a pair

  1. What a sad story, our local birds also have injuries from discarded fishing lines and a local conservation group has been campaigning for years to create a designated wildlife area where fishing is banned. These two birds may have already been together and swimming side by side when getting caught up in the same tackle. Your images are beautiful with a poignant haiku to match.


    1. Thanks Xenia. Sadly discarded fishing line and so much other lethal human waste in the oceans floats everywhere endangering wildlife. There are no safe waters. We humans keep increasing our ways of destroying the environment.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My goodness me. I just assumed they were standing on one leg, not that tthey only had one leg and fancy them pairing up like this. A mutual support group. Incredible. Nice pictures too! By nice, I mean amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is terrible. And then as well as poison these poor mammals have to contend with Japanese and Icelandic murderers killing them for pointless pseudo nationalistic driven reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Many youngsters learn their love of nature through the silent hours with a fishing rod. My own youngest son, a lifelong angler, always cleans up after himself and any other, less responsible angler who has left discarded line and rubbish, for that reason. The industrialised fishing operations however, seem to have no such qualms…


    1. Your son stands out with his care, sadly many others don’t care. Originally our ancestors used natural fibres and spears or their hands. The older I get the more I see sense in prehistoric lifestyles.


  4. Beautiful photos. At first glance, and only for a second, I thought maybe a strange genetic fault for a local population, but then dismissed it and thought probably fishing line. Reading on I see that is indeed the issue. Plastic is turning out to be very problematic across the globe and most of us simply take it for granted. Bit depressing really, but at least these little birds look like they are coping.


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