Gulls Chasing a Ferry, Strait of Georgia

Tall Tales

I was cooking hamburgers and hot dogs on a charcoal grill on pleasantly warm summer evening in a city park when a dollop of bird poop went splat on my shoulder. In surprise and consternation, I looked up and spotted a gull flying away. Until that instant, I had considered gulls as just another bird, one that lived near water. I had heard stories about their saving the crops of early settlers in Utah from a huge cricket infestation in 1848. The seagull is the state bird of Utah but it was just another bird to me. After that evening in the park, gulls were definitely not one of my fovorites.

However, when I started photographing birds, my thoughts changed again. I noticed that gulls are cocky, seemingly arrogant and walk on the ground and railings like they own the world. In a way they do. They live around the world from the arctic to the antarctic. They can live on almost anything remotely organic; they will steal food from everyone, especially lunches from children. But, in the air, they are something else. They sweep and swoop, using air currents to display aerial acrobatics that would make pilots envious. They are masters of flight and seem to enjoy flying for flying's sake. How can one not admire them

This epub contains photos of gulls weaving and swerving beside and over a ferry on its 44 km sail from Tsawwassen (Vancouver) to Swartz Bay (Vancouver Island, Victoria).

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