Saturday, December 5, 2009

Early Morning Walk

I was out early this morning and went for a walk down at the bay. The tide was way out - just after low tide.
The moon was still up and just beyond full moon - hence the interesting tides over the last few days.
I did not expect to get close enough to any shorebirds for anything more than record shots. These Pacific Golden Plover were not too far away and I could see someone in the distance also enjoying the early morning.
I was walking very slowly so he caught up with me and we started talking about birds. Peter - he said his name was - lived in this area as a child and certainly knows a lot about it. First he showed me a raptor nest which I had not seen.
Then he told me about various other birds he has been seeing over the last few weeks - only some of which I had noticed. He was carrying a plastic bucket and in it he had a couple of big crabs. He told me how you can see the crab in the water and buried in the sand just below the surface. He also explained how you can tell which way the crab is facing. Then he demonstrated how he digs his toes into the sand just behind where the crab is lying and flicks it out and over on to its back. Then if it is a big male he picks it up and puts it in the bucket - and he's all ready to go home and have a tasty breakfast! Here's the crab he had caught this morning. Those 'nippers' looked pretty big and dangerous to me!
And here he is after picking it up again and about to put it back in the bucket.
Thanks Peter. Fascinating! Bare hands and feet are apparently enough to catch a crab - IF you know what you are doing!


  1. You really would want to know which end was which before you started digging!

  2. Just what I thought - but this guy obviously thought it was quite a simple matter!

  3. As they say on some tv programmes , "Don't try this at home folks" ;) I don't think I'll be digging for crabs with my toes Mick.
    The hand held crab shows just how big it was, um, tasty.

  4. Hi John, I won't be trying it either, you can be sure! I had one of those big ones catch onto my foot once - ouch! That was before I understood about crabs and watery holes :-)

  5. Fascinating story, Mick.
    But Peter obviously knows his stuff.
    The advantage of growing up on the beach. All those wasted years of wagging school (or not) were not wasted at all.

  6. Hi Denis, if they were 'wasted' it sure sounds like a fun way to do it! However, from the way the fellow talked I would say he had a sensible and practical upbringing! IMO too many children today know far too little about their surroundings/environment.

  7. Hi thats my grandad your talking about isn't he the best. Yeah he does know his stuff. The crab tasted good. He's been crabing over 50 years.

  8. Hi Josh, I'd say you're lucky! I was most impressed with his knowledge on crabs and birds as well. I hope I meet him again sometime so I can learn some more from him!