Monday, February 15, 2010

Spring gulls.

In fresh breeding plumage, even a bird as common, some would say too common, as a Glaucous-winged Gull looks pretty spiffy with its pure white head. Not all have fully achieved perfect gullness, however.

At this point many still retain the winter look--recent victim of the cartoon exploding cigar.

Yesterday brough brilliant sunshine, and at various times you could look up and see a swirling cloud of hundreds of gulls thousands of feet high, the light gleaming off their bellies. It was enough to stop a street hockey game. We all gaped at the sky for a few minutes. "Some are going clockwise..." someone said, and another finished the observation, "and others are going counter-clockwise."

Game on.


Pablo said...

I have actually been known to put exploding slugs in some peoples' cigars in my reckless youth.

Karen said...

I am only recently starting to be able to tell the difference between different gulls. I think I have glaucous (black eye, pink feet?) and ring-billed (yellow eye, spot on bill, white spots on black tail feathers?) apart. Now I need to get the other usual suspects in my brain. The contrast between the full molted and soot-faced gulls - priceless! I wouldn't look up too much under a flock of those guys, though - might get a nasty surprise in your eye!

Hugh said...

Pablo, I hope they weren't the gastropod type of slug--although if they exploded it might be spectacular.

Karen, gulls are a challenge, and are often easier to identify by where they are than what they look like. They tend to hybridize a fair amount too, which doesn't help. I am often secind-guessing myself.