When Windcatcher was launched at Blarney Books in Port Fairy, early October, I thought perhaps I’d written a history book. The shearwaters (mutton birds) should have returned 2 weeks prior – but there was no sign of them.
They’ve never, ever been late before – always arriving within a day or two of September 22. Everyone was really worried and no-one knew what had happened. But, the birds did arrive home – on the night of the launch!! It had nothing to do with the launch of our book of course, but it makes a good story! Only half the usual 30,000 birds arrived back though. Sadly, it’s since been discovered, the others suffered a ‘wreck’ (massed demise) off the coast of Canada at the beginning of their flight back.
Windcatcher. Migration of the Short-tailed Shearwater – by Diane Jackson Hill Illustrated: Craig Smith Published: CSIRO