Nature's Place

Into the Wind, Grey Wind

Undaunted TernResting TernStruggling SeagullMaster Of The WindEagle at Rest

Welcome sunshine. And with it came the wind. Walking on the beach I got a few shots I wouldn’t have got without the wind. One of a Tern, then a seagull and another of an Eagle.

The wind was from the south east off the sea and it howled in my ear as it caught the rim of my hat at just the right angle. It blew the sand up the beach and in places the beach was nearly rebuilt after the recent storms and high tides almost washed it away.

I had to be very careful not to get sand in the camera, especially the lens area. It being an extending zoom.

I wasn’t ready for the Tern when I saw him but it didn’t matter. He was caught in the wind and there was little he could do about it. He must have taken flight as soon as he saw me.

As soon as he was airborne that was it, he didn’t go anywhere except left and right, and up and down. He couldn’t make any headway against the wind it was that strong.

He was desperately trying to go south against the wind. Maybe to his mate or chicks, or feeding or roosting ground. You just never know without extensive experience of a location.

He struggled and flapped his wings flat out for thirty seconds or more and travelled maybe three feet in his desired direction. Not an efficient use of energy.

At that rate of effort he’d be exhausted in a very short time. Then he’d really be in trouble, a flightless bird, caught in the open. With the Eagle’s and other predators about these parts. Snakes, Dogs, Cats, Goanna’s and such.

So he did the intelligent thing. He landed. And he stood there looking into the wind, waiting for a gap that didn’t come. After he was recovered he took to the air again but with the same meager gain in distance. And he landed again.

I looked down the beach and could see vaguely a few similar figures also parked on the beach. He was not alone in his struggle, except that he was. There was no help to be had from any quarter.

After a short while he rose again to go south but it was a useless effort. This time he didn’t land though. He went high on the wind and turned north with it and east out to sea. A daring strategy, a last resort.

I suspected he was going to ride the calm spot in front of the waves. The trouble there would be the gusting. It could have him dumped very suddenly and forcefully.

If you have ever been surfing you’d know what a dumping can do to you. It can kill people, the boiling of the water can keep you under for a long time. It could do it easier to a small bird.

I saw him out over the sea at about three hundred metres and he seemed to be struggling still. He was up and down a couple of times and then he seemed to find a spot and he was off south against the wind and he seemed to be doing ok.

I’d say he got home, knackered probably.


The seagull, I didn’t see him coming, had the same trouble but was a stronger flyer in the conditions. It didn’t have such drama. Whenever it came to rest it picked at what may have been edible and off it went again. Opportunist, slowly but surely making its way south.


Then the Eagle came out of the bush from the north and west. This I did not expect. She came out from the cover of the trees and flew straight out and into the wind and over the sea. The wind slowed her down a bit but the Eagle took it in her stride.

I don’t know what she was doing, she didn’t go fishing and there was nothing on the wing that I could see. Could have been exercising her wings, but I don’t think so. Probably she was checking out some tired parked bird. Looking for an easy meal, more like it.

After a little while she flew back to the bush and disappeared from sight.


There was this fellow on the beach. Carrying a camera and wearing a hat. Taking pictures of some birds, with some difficulty. He was looking steadily into the wind as if at something a long way off.

The sand was burning his eyes and wearing his skin down a layer at a time but he didn’t seem to care. He just kept looking into the wind.

He did this for thirty or forty years. More or less. Buffeted this way and that. Always turning back into the wind.

Into the wind of his mind, through it. Eroding of all that he had collected in his time, remembered, shaken off, deflected by his untiring vision. Inside.

Looking into the other side of the wind of mind, where there is no more abrasion. Nothing more to be worn down.

No more wind. No more mind.

All copyright reserved / Mark Berkery


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