Sunday, May 29, 2016 Combat fishing

Seward, Alaska

It could be herring, euchalon, or some other species returning in large numbers to spawn in the area rivers. Or salmon smolt trying to swim to the ocean. Whatever it is, a bazillion gulls and BALD EAGLES knew all about it.

While well-spaced humans were trying to snag red salmon at the head of the bay, over 60 BALD EAGLES stood in the shallow tidal streams, wing to wing, toe to toe, beak to beak, combat fishing.

A screaming feathered cloud of mostly GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS, with some KITTIWAKES, and a few MEW GULLS flew above the tide flat streams en masse from one hot spot to the next like gold miners racing after rumors of rich strikes. I don’t know how they managed to fly, immersed in beating wings, outstretched webbed feet, and sharp, open beaks. The cacophony was deafening.

Whenever an eagle took to the air, the gulls nearby instantly rose up in swirls like a down-filled pillow shaken loose in the wind. The dark Eagle flew through the temporary clear space ahead surrounded by a white blur of gulls that instantly filled in behind it.

It was astonishing to hear and see this living, breathing, screeching, flying, chaotic kaleidoscope of feathers. And the mystery of it all, was the fish I never saw.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

1 comment:

  1. Great story! Without seeing the pics, I could visualize the mass of feathers! Cool!