bells peel out in new zealand to welcome a bird back

web cathedral and chalice The very first feathered signs of spring arriving in my city have landed.

The Anglican Cathedral bells ring to welcome the  Eastern bar-tailed godwits as they arrive back in Christchurch ( New Zealand) from Alaska.

This annual, non stop epic journey of some 80 thousand godwits migrating back to their breeding grounds here – from the Alaska Arctic Tundra – are warmly welcomed by the ringing of the bells ( hand bell ringers too). This journey of 11,500 kms is usually flown non-stop and usually takes about six days!

Every year we locals farewell them from our shores and when they return the catherdral bells peel out to welcome them back to their summer feeding grounds here on the Ihutai/Avon- Heathcote estuary such a short distance the centre of our city.

godwits coming in to roost beside the black and white oyster catchers
godwits coming in to roost beside the black and white oyster catchers