The Lady in Waiting

I paid a visit to the ship yesterday to see how Claudia and Charlie De Gull are doing with the nest and the eggs.  No progress to report, but she is getting very cranky.  I noted that some kind crew member had left some open cans of sardines right next to the nest, but when I tried to help myself she almost pecked my head off.  So much for the blessed principle of sharing with your elders.

Claudia patiently sits on the nest

After I left the nest I took a tour of the waterfront and found some interesting things as I flew up toward the Ferry Building.   The first was a big mess on one of the piers.  It seems that there must have been quite a large fire and the front of the pier is all black.  Workmen were climbing all over the building tearing out the burnt stuff.

Remnants of the fire at Pier 29

It wasn’t lunch time so I couldn’t mooch any food from the workmen, but I was hungry from having seen, and almost eaten, the sardines near the nest.

I kept flying up towards the big bridge looking for scraps near one of the waterside restaurants and I came upon the funniest sign that had just been installed. Continue reading

America’s Cup Practice on the Bay

While we were cruising around the Bay for Memorial Day we came across a strange looking sailboat.  It has a very tall mast and what looks like an airplane wing for a sail.  Instead of one hull it has two and they are connected by a net that the sailors run around on.  Very strange!

The Oracle 45 foot catamaran doing test runs on San Francisco Bay during the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary celebration.

Rumor has it that there are going to be lots and lots of people for the sailboat races and that is good news for the avian squadron.  More people means more tourists and that means more food for the troops!

The ship is right near the area where the races will start and we hope that the bird population will benefit from the crowds.   Continue reading

A Beautiful Month of May on San Francisco Bay

Mohandas K. Gandhi statue on the Ferry Landing

Now that the ship is back in action and taking cruises on San Francisco Bay all of the avian squadron is happy. I flew toward the big bridge and landed at the Ferry Building to take a look around.  One of my favorite statues is next to the Ferry Terminal and it was nice to see that the mess created by some of our younger members has been cleaned up.

The avian squadron hanging out on the ship

Across the street from the Ferry Building at the funny looking fountain, which never seems to be flowing, some of the boys were playing in the little bit of water left and scrounging food during lunch. Continue reading

The Last Battleship

This is the first trip of the year for the ship and we are going to be cruising around in the Bay looking for another ship.  It seems that an old Battleship has been fixed up and is going to be towed south down the coast to become a museum.

Things are looking up in terms of food, however, since we seem to have lots of people on board and it looks as though there is going to be a lunch served or something.

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream coming on board

This is pallet is loaded with ice cream. What are they thinking?  Gulls don’t eat ice cream!  Maybe there will be some bread or fish somewhere.

Well, it turns out that we left the pier after waiting for a bunch of sailboats to pass by on their way out toward the Golden Gate Bridge.  We fastened onto a tiny tugboat and they pulled us away from the pier and we headed north past the islands in the Bay.  We cruised around for quite a while until we found this narrow channel near a bunch of big round tanks. Continue reading

HAPPY 75th BIRTHDAY to the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Bay Golden Gate Bridge

While eavesdropping  on one of the crew meetings I discovered that the ship has planned a cruise on May 27th to celebrate the birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge.  I also heard that 2012 is the 75th Birthday of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. This is all good news for your faithful author and the rest of the avian squadron.  This event will draw quite a crowd and that will result in lots of food both on board the ship and in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. Continue reading

Cruisin’ around the Bay

I have been commuting back and forth from the ship in dry dock to my nest at Pier 45 on Fisherman’s Wharf. This time of the year there are  many gulls around because the California Gull frequently migrates to San Francisco Bay during the winter.

An immature gull, left, is brown, whereas the adult develops the classic white plummage

From April until August many of my relatives fly east to the nesting site at Mono Lake.  They return to San Francisco Bay to spend the winter because the weather is very cold at the lake.  Mono lake is the second largest gull rookery in the United States.  The largest is the Great Salt Lake far across the mountains and the big desert.  Some day I hope to visit the big salt lake and see if I can find any of my relatives.  It is a long flight and I’m not sure how I will find food along the way.  The great thing about Mono Lake is that it is filled with brine shrimp and everyone loves to eat brine shrimp. Continue reading

The Herring are here! The Herring are here!

While I was flying down to look at the dry dock preparations at Pier 70 I noticed that there was a lot of activity in the Bay right near the Ferry Building.  Upon closer inspection I discovered that the little boats and swarms of gulls and bobbing seals were all there because the Herring were in the midst of their annual run for spawning into San Francisco Bay. The gulls were trying to snatch the Herring out of the nets of the trawlers and the seals were trying to avoid the boats and nets and catch the Herring in the water.  It was quite a sight . . . chaos was the order of the day.

Cupid's Bow and the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero next to San Francisco Bay

I stopped at Cupid’s Bow to look at the scene and was amazed at the number of boats and gulls.  I like to perch on the tip of the Bow or on top of the arrow to be able to rest and look down on the Bay. How come none of my so called ‘friends’ and relatives didn’t bother to say anything to me about this spawning run? I like fresh Herring as much as any other Gull.  The crew members on the boat were working very hard to haul in the nets and the birds were swirling around looking for fish that escape the boat. Continue reading