Time for Gulls

It is hard this morning to find a parking place near the Sheep Creek delta. The tiny parking lot is full. Both sides of the road are lined with parked trucks. We find a place to put our car on the southern side of the creek. The guys who parked the trucks are fishing for silver salmon on the Gastineau Channel shore. They are only outnumbered by gulls. 

            The last time we visited the delta, eagles greatly outnumbered humans. Only two guys tried their luck at fishing. Dozens of eagles ripped flesh from spawned out salmon.  This morning there is only one eagle perched above thousands of gulls. The birds wade in the stream or hover on the exposed gravel, all waiting for pink salmon to die.

            One gull screams at a small female pink salmon as the fish rolls on the beach. After minutes of flopping, it goes still, letting the gull start its feast. Newly arrived pink salmon power their way up the stream. Some males with grotesque humps, try to shove each other off the spawning ground. The gulls keep watching. They will watch until the spawning is done and the dying begins. 

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