The godwits have arrived back in New Zealand. I love it that any church bells still surviving in Christchurch ring out when the first godwits arrive from Alaska – usually in Rocking Horse Bay.
Some years ago Laughton and I were transfixed, as were many New Zealanders, by the story, of a returning godwit which had been fitted with a radio transmitter. Day by day newspapers showed its progress across the Pacific Ocean. It had never been proved that the birds made the journey non-stop. But here was the living proof: that indomitable little female riding the wind currents, beating its way to Aotearoa. It took 8 days – the longest non-stop migration in the world.
We wrote a children’s book about this amazing feat – The Very Important Godwit. It was beautifully illustrated by Jez Tuya and contained a CD of thirteen songs which Laughton recorded with the help of musician friends of his. We are very proud of this book which is sadly out of print but you might come across it in libraries or second hand shops. The songs can be downloaded for free from SOUNZ.
The photo is from the New Zealand Geographic site.