06 Apr In Search of the Sea-Pie
Two Weeks To Go:
My essay In Search of the Sea-Pie to be published on 21 April 2016 in Dunlin Press’ new book The Migrant Waders.
The Oystercatcher, or Sea-Pie as it is locally known, is a noisy, bright, charismatic bird of the shoreline. I have long been fascinated by them. My essay links my year-long childhood study of oystercatchers on the Norfolk coast with cultural and historic reflections on the species.
For me the coastline would not be the same without the waders – their movement with the tides, their calls, sometimes mournful, sometimes piercing, and the rhythmic backdrop of the sea. In the autumn, local birds are joined by migrating waders.
In my essay I write:
In September, the very highest tides push thousands of waders together; knot, oystercatcher, sanderling, godwit, plover, all jostling for position, bursting into flight as the tide squeezes upwards. They settle in a noisy crescendo of calls which rise across the tideline; then they fall silent.
I am delighted that my oystercatchers will be part of the Migrant Waders collection.
Dunlin Press describe their book:
The Migrant Waders is a collection of illustration, evocative prose, poetry and reportage that follows the migration routes of wading and shore birds from the high arctic to the tropics. Taking in the histories of the people and places where the birds make their temporary homes, the book includes 21 ink and watercolour illustrations by Ella Johnston and contributions from nature and landscape writers, as well as leading ecologists and environmentalists.
The launch of The Migrant Waders will be held at Church Street Tavern, Colchester, Essex, on Thursday 21 April, at 7pm. All welcome.
I will be there along with other contributors and the books will be on sale. For more information see: