A cold wind blew away the clouds on Tuesday, leaving the sky clear and ice-blue. We layered sweaters and jackets and went to White Rock.
The gulls were all down on a far section of the beach, crammed together, waiting for something. Me and my bag of bread, maybe. As soon as I tossed a couple of small pieces onto a picnic table, one in the air wheeled and headed my way; the rest took off and followed him.
Too many gulls! I couldn't keep up with the rush. I kept breaking off smallish bits, so as to give everyone a fair share, throwing some on the table, some on the grass around and behind me. One gull, smaller than most, hovered over my head like a hummingbird, instead; I threw a piece in the air, and he snatched it before it fell. So I threw more, and all his siblings and cousins joined him up there.
None of the larger gulls tried this; they stood not-so-patiently on the table and grass, watching.
I gave up being fair; the lazy gulls could pick up the pieces the hoverers missed. The rest of the bag of bread went up, not down. At the end, the braver of the gulls were holding their place in line less than a foot in front of my head, so close that I kept automatically ducking and closing my eyes.
Laurie stood there, against the light, and took photos of the gulls in the air. I loved the shapes of their wings, black and white against the clear sky.
|There are four pieces of bread in the air.|
|I've lightened this photo up, to show the ring on the bill, and the yellow eye.|
As far as I can tell, these are ring-billed gulls; a medium-sized gull with a black ring around the bill, but no red spot with it, yellow feet and eyes, grey back, and black-tipped wings with two white spots near the end.
A Skywatch post.