I stand apart a drab donga. Zipped vests undo basic plumage, almost non-verbal. Rare vagrant, ropy lists. In the Shadehouse, species queue into rows and columns. Rivals split over a ka ke ki-ki-ki. I acculturate an ornithological gait, my next meal, my next mate. Spotting scopes strewn over fold-out tables, outdo sweaty prints on digital stills (apertures of truth) not yet showered. They are all ecru, each unidentifiable. A migrant’s prosody draws a mob to ogle lurid eye-stripe. Squadrons form orderly whilst I lag like the return flight. A bat hangs atrophied. How I have changed? Peripatetic follower of quiet observation. I sit out the doldrums in a peep hole. One Bower bird−hoard theory verified. Blind stoics. Two Peaceful Doves, a mantle of delineated bars. I settle for unspoilt real estate a prayer of Godwits on a midden’s scatter.
The science inspiring the piece:
Flyway was inspired by a few days spent at the Broome Bird Observatory, a highly significant shorebird migratory area and place of research in the East-Asian Australasian Flyway.
Feature image via Tyrrell Photographic Collection, Powerhouse Museum (Public Domain)