The Good Kind of Off-Leash Dog

While scoping the mudflats between the north and south jetty at Iona this past Saturday I was somewhat surprised to see this coyote trotting along the shoreline towards my position…

As the wild dog got closer he (or she) picked up speed a little and veered further out onto the flats to give me a wide berth.  The coyote dashed off into the grass and brush as it approached the north jetty and within a few seconds it was gone.

Unsurprisingly there were quite a few off leash pets at Iona as well; including one dog whose owners let it rampage through several groups of gulls. I briefly entertained the thought of rounding a bend and coming across the coyote tearing someone’s unleashed lap dog to pieces as the ignorant owner stood by crying helplessly but quickly banished such negative notions to the back of my head as I sighted a group of Sanderling feeding on a sandbar.

The birding was pretty decent at Iona with the highlight being a Lapland Longspur just past the 1km mark on the south jetty. At the sewage lagoons good numbers of shorebirds were feeding on the north east pond and several species of raptors made brief flyovers as well. Luckily the weather cooperated whilst birding and the forecasted rain held off until the sun had almost set.


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