I looked out the big window for a couple of hours early this morning to determine if I should get out of bed and go outside. Visibility was less than 200 feet because of the smoke I suspect was mixed with fog; yep, smog. The Rose Tree in the planter on the porch was rocking rolling in the wind, how can it be so smokey with a wind? Simple answer; I don’t know. I decided to continue cleaning out the archives, Seagulls caught my attention.
It’s actually about the pylon, I call it the pecking pylon because of the competitions during mating season. For some reason this is the spot the Gulls have chosen to exhibit their best attributes to the females in waiting. I can’t imagine what the girls are thinking while watching these knuckleheads battle it out.
We shan’t think for a fleeting second that merely because this guy landed on the pylon that it is an accepted fact he is now secure in the position. Time doesn’t tick along at a high rate until another bird decides he is king of the stump.
They dive bomb one another, they really want to be the bird on top of it. Once the top is claimed for no matter how long the sitter (?) celebrates which only draws attention to him and another battle starts except it is commonly between the new occupant and a new attacker. I am not able to keep track of them all, it’s much like that game guessing which cup the pea is under.
I don’t know if there is ever a “winner” nor have I seen the females hanging around to see the outcome. They may keep in the air flying around squawking and raising Cane. I have not seen the birds hurting one another like the Ducks and Geese do, Gulls push each other around. It appears to be a battle of pure intimidation with loud voices, flying brush off collisions and excessive barking at one another.
They do fall at times as the one on the left in this image, however he circled around to stage another assault on the percher; I don’t remember which prevailed, but then again it doesn’t matter. These were taken during February 2021 which is around the same time the Sea Lions follow the migrating fish in from the ocean. Of course Sea Lions along with Sea Gulls are like Hot Dogs and Mustard. When the Seals catch fish all bets are off as far as who gets the pylon, it’s a tough decision food or fight over a vertical post. From that point on it is total confusion with all the Gulls battling over everything including air space.
There are those that go total intimidation on steroids as the big Gull in this photo is attempting to do. I don’t remember what happened but I would place my money on the next bird that flew by knocking this guy for a loop.
They are returning to the slough slowly but it may brief as they may have detected a lower level of smoke this past weekend and thought it had passed. We did have a wind shift unfortunately it is now blowing the smoke from near Lake Tahoe down through our neck of the woods. The weather guessers are predicting the wind will shift again to come from the Ocean. It will then blow the nasty air Eastward where people in the mid North are smelling wood smoke in the rain. All smoke settles on the ground sooner or later, rain helps it along hence the smell. The firefighters along with the emergency response teams are doing an amazing job, they just keep on keeping on.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance