I had lunch today with a friend and we finished much more quickly than usual. I had brought my camera because the last time we had lunch there – there being the Fish Market in San Mateo – a mother duck was showing her teenagers how to forage and I was hoping for a repeat. It was gloriously hot and all the outside tables were full so we ate inside which may be why we were finished so quickly. What ever the reason, we had some time to kill and we sat – sort of sunning ourselves – on a bench overlooking San Mateo’s Seal Slough. On a corner of the Fish Market’s dock, were a cormorant and seagull also sunning themselves.
They seemed to not being paying much attention to each other which makes sense as they operate in totally different eco-niches. After a while, two more cormorants showed up to fish just off the dock. Then they came over to sun themselves – opening their wings – and the seagull got sort of agitated and moved away. But not very far.
About that time a heron came over to the shore near us to hunt.
At one point one of the late to arrive cormorants got two close to the self identified dock owning cormorant and he/she/or it turned and bit his – who knows if she is a he, but I’m going with his – wing. The intruder backed up about six inches and then moved closer by about four inches just to show he wasn’t intimidated. Watching the five birds was watching five individual animals. It was fascinating and lovely, sitting in the sun, watching the birds live their little to me – big to them – lives.
And then I thought This is just too close to two old men sitting on a park bench. I remarked on that and we both decided we had places to go and people to see.