This summer season has been very busy for the old ship and quite exciting for the boys and gulls in the Avian Squadron. First of all we had a nest that was built on the ship by Charles and Claudia De Gull and that caused a lot of chatter amongst the troops and the crew as well as the visitors. Unfortunately it did not produce any new chicks, but the De Gull Family did get a lot of notoriety from the visitors during one of the cruises.
Then there were more visitors to the pier than I have seen in many a year and that generated a lot of free food for the birds. One of our favorite snacks is the bread bowl that is served filled with soup. Sometimes the soup is still in it when we get it and we get to pick out the clams and other fish that is left. Terrific stuff, but you have to fight off those pesky pigeons.
Percival C. Gull scores a bread bowl and he is rightfully wary of the pigeons stalking his find.
Then we had a lot of sailboats out on the water and big crowds watching them zip around. There must have been some kind of special event going on because I have never seen so many boats and the large crowds lining the shoreline. Continue reading
Well, the waiting is over for Charles and Claudia De Gull. As you may recall from previous messages, the De Gulls were sitting on a nest they built on top of one of the cannons on the old ship. This was highly unusual because the ship is very busy and there were lots of people around almost every day. The nest first appeared earlier this year and they sat there and sat there and SAT THERE for the longest time.
Charles and Claudia De Gull sitting on the nest built on top of the cannon
I went by the other day to see how it was going and much to my surprise the nest was gone and the cannon was all cleaned up. Continue reading
I took a little break from hanging around Fisherman’s Wharf the other day and hitched a ride out beyond the big orange bridge on a small fishing boat. The rest of the boys flew out, but I camped out on the top of a boat that was loaded with tourist fishermen and fisherwomen. Not a bad crowd and they did have lots of snacks that they were willing to share.
Of course I did not think that I was going to catch a salmon, but they use small frozen fish for bait and upon occasion they either drop them of take them off the hook and throw them overboard. I scored about 6 or 7 bait fish with little or no effort along with some potato chips and bagel pieces.
Charter boat fishing
As we left the dock at Fisherman’s Wharf we went out behind the ship and I saw the back end where Claudia and Charlie have their nest. Nothing going on and from their standpoint I know they are getting frustrated. The ship does look nice with the new paint job. Continue reading
There has been some local progress with the hatching of new chicks. On the roof of the shed across the pier head from the ship we saw a new chick walking around. One of the parents sits patiently by the nest to protect the chick from marauding visitors.
One chick walking around the nest on the roof of the shed next to the ship.
Claudia and Charles are getting impatient and testy. When I stopped by the other day she about snapped my head off when I made a little joke about speeding up the hatching process. She also has been very secretive about just how many eggs are in the nest. Maybe it has been so long that she has forgotten. Continue reading
Cruise ship near Fisherman’s Wharf.
While we were cruising around the Golden Gate Bridge the other day for the Birthday party I heard one of the crew members say that there is going to be a cruise to celebrate chocolate! What a terrific idea. One of the things everyone should know is that the vast majority of the time spent by your average gull is in a search for food. To suggest that this is an all consuming quest would not be an understatement. Continue reading
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
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