Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Late afternoon or early evening, thousands of Glaucous-winged Gulls clock out at the Delta Landfill and head north to spend the night along the Fraser River or Burrard Inlet. Sometimes they fly in disciplined goose-like Vs, but other times they form large, wheeling clouds that slowly waltz across the sky.
I call these "gullstroms." I'm not sure if they are weather-dependent, or are due to whatever was consumed that day at the dump. I'm leaning toward the former. It seems that they do this on blustery days, taking advantage of bouncy air currents. I also think they do it as a social behaviour, and as a means of having fun. Being a gull is not simply rooting through trash and fighting over half-eaten McNuggets. It's also about having fun.