Thursday, March 10, 2011

A heart wrenching sight

Farm wise Christopher continued pressing in the morning.  I feed the ponies again and spent rather a long time filing photos on my computer.  I have hundreds in no particular order.
In the afternoon we went away in the vehicle to fix some broken stakes in the fence between Twin ponds and the Sand Grass.  Found the fence also had a broken wire.  Sorted the fence then decided to go and heft the ewes of the green.
Stranded Black fish (Pilot whales)
As we were driving around I was commenting on how green the Sand grass was and what good condition the camp was in in general.  As we turned to head back we noticed lots of gulls and Giant Petrols sitting in the sand grass on top of the beach bank.  As we got closer hundreds of birds took off.  We realised straight away that there was probably a pod of black fish (pilot whales) on the beach.  Pilot whales grow to about 17 feet long and today there was every size imaginable from babies to full size males.This is not unusual at this time of year and has been happening since time. Unfortunately there appears to be no explanation for why it happens.  One theory is that they have a pilot fish and if that dies they beach themselves.  Today it was so sad because the scale of the stranding is phenomenal.  When we looked down over the beach they were dead the entire way around the bay.  They appear to have been dead about a week.  They also appear to have been healthy and in good condition.  Strangely they don't even appear to be beached, they are just rolling up and down what is a fairly steep incline.  Over the years when the animals have been found  alive attempts have been made to re-float then.  This has varying degrees of success, in most cases the animals will purposely beach themselves again.  It is such a sad sight to see and heart wrenching when you think about how long they probably lie on the beach before they die.

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