Unhand Me, Grey-Beard Loon


“At length did cross an Albatross,

Thorough the fog it came ;

As if it had been a Christian soul,

We hailed it in God’s name.

“It ate the food it ne’er had eat,

And round and round it flew.

The ice did split with a thunder-fit;

The helmsman steer’d us through!

“And a good south wind sprung up behind ;

The Albatross did follow,

And every day, for food or play,

Came to the mariner’s hollo!”

However: ‘Twas not an albatross that glided into sight when we were on the ferry from Tiburon back to the city on Saturday, but a California gull. The gulls: They’re more familiar for their late-game invasions of local ballparks, swooping on peanuts, Cracker Jack, stub ends of hot dogs and stale buns. They appear in the hundreds and often put on a more interesting show than the paid performers on the field. Another habit they have, with which you’re familiar if you spend time on the water hereabouts: They trail boats, looking for any sign of free calories. This guy followed the ferry for five minutes or more. (Click for larger images.)




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