IT WAS late afternoon in early spring and the paddocks across the bay were gleaming green. ‘Whales!’ I heard my partner call. Dozens of seabirds, probably terns, were dive-bombing the water a few hundred metres offshore, but as usual I could see no whales. ‘Where?’ I cried out. Then I spotted them. A blow of spray, then another further away. The pair of whales must have been feeding too, for they stayed for ages, barely breaching the surface for a sip of air before disappearing then reappearing a short while later with another blow of spray.
As I watched the whales, a pair of magpies charged back and forth from their nest high up in a she-oak tree, sailing over the edge of the bluff and returning with bugs and worms in their beaks. Mama magpie had been on the nest for almost three weeks so the babies must have hatched.