River report

Glorious sunlight and a clear blue sky this morning, and a most interesting phenomenon. The wind blew gently, from the north. I wouldn’t have said it was strong enough to even notice, but that’s down on the bench where I was. Three times as I sat with my tea, groups of seagulls — three, four, five of them — flew toward the center of the river and began to spiral up. When hawks do this in groups it’s called a kettle. Seagulls don’t generally fly very high. They don’t migrate and they don’t hunt, so they have no reason to need a long view and in fact are better off if they’re close to the water, where they can see the crabs and fish and bagels. And yet three groups of seagulls, just in the time I was sitting there, flew into a thermal current and rode it as high as they could, way up where they were just tiny dots, not flapping their wings, just soaring on the updraft. There’s no functional reason I know of for seagulls to do this. I can only surmise they were having fun.

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