Late last year I came across a dead bird on a beach, whilst I was starring at it and not watching where I was going I almost stepped upon another, it wasn't until I looked ahead that I realised the beach was lined with them, a really horrific sighting. I reminded myself to go home and google why this had happened but it must have been too recent and I couldn't find any information.
Fast forward to when we recently visited the spooky cave - again I came across more dead birds, this time showing signs of decomposition with bones exposed and only their skeletal frames and feathers left. At the time I naively said to Lowie that I didn't understand how they all fell from the sky in a row, he quickly corrected me and said they died out at sea and got washed in (I have a lot of those moments btw). This time when I went home to google I found a lot of information. Turns out they are short-tail shearwaters also known as mutton birds. These birds do an amazing 15,000km journey starting off in Tasmania, touching past Japan, Alaska and California before making their way back all within 2 months. It seems there was high fatality in last years migration path with birds reported as dying from starvation raising questions about over fishing practices. Another theory was poor weather and high winds resulted in a difficult journey for the birds especially if feeding up north was minimal. In any case it really was such a tragedy to visually witness. I hope these pictures aren't too distressing, I actually find them beautiful myself but then I'm probably a tad strange :p
Two birds washed up together - I found that sweet :)