Talking about your swimming Emu David, I
received this message in a similar vein a few months ago from a birding friend
from Cape Town South Africa.
I took a visiting overseas birder to the WC National Park on
As we approached Geelbek, I asked:
"Did you know that we
have the world's largest wader in this park?"
"Oh?" says he, sounding
"Uh huh" say I, confidently. "Look ..."
Ahead of us were the
usual short-legged waders (Curlew Sandpipers
etc), then a little deeper the
slightly longer-legged chaps like
the Grey Plovers, and even deeper, the
Whimbrels. A good 50
metres deeper, wading up to their knees in the channel
the sandbanks, were two Ostrich!!!
It was a most curious
sight. We suspect that the female Ostrich
was doing her best to shake off
the exceedingly pesky male and
had thought a little dip would discourage him
(not at all, I'm
afraid). It wasn't easy going, and they looked quite
uncomfortable as they plodded through the increasingly sinky
had short pauses to get their breath back before
pressing on. It took them
about 20 minutes to do a big arc in
front of the hide - upon reaching solid
ground they once again
broke into fast pace and disappeared into the
Most entertaining, and I'm sure my visitor will enjoy relating
this tale to his fellow Scottish birders!