Monday, February 27, 2012
gull 1, crab 0
as promised, a little shoreline drama. nothing too crazy, just a bit of the risk of being a tasty treat at low tide. we had been wandering along the sand slowly exposing itself to the sun as the tide went out. while admiring all the vibrantly-cooured seaweed, i noticed a gull at the water's edge, pulling away at something. i thought it, too, was seaweed, but quickly realized it was a sunflower star, a rich purple in the sand. low tide is prime lunch time for all the feathered foragers. A quickly directed my attention the other way though, to spot another gull looming over a crab it had flipped on its back. we were only a short distance away, watching as the gull pecked at its quarry, while the crab poked arms upward in a fruitless effort to fight him off. but after a few moments the gull flew off, and we couldn't hep but approach what it had left behind. the crab sat helpless on its back, but when i flipped it right side up again it quickly began its backwards/sideways escape, despite missing two legs. i tried to encourage it back in to the safety of the water, but he stubbornly hunkered down into the open sand. it seemed best to let nature take its course, so we backed away and left the red rock crab to its business.
no sooner had we put a few metres between us though, and mr. gull was back in the scene. it wasn't on the top of its game either, as we noticed a strong limp as it moved on its prey again (maybe something to do with what's stuck/tied to its leg? hard to get close enough to see). but nonetheless it took no time at all to have the crab on its back again and that seemed like the game was over. i don't enjoy the kill, but i feel honoured to be able to witness these raw moments once in awhile. nature taking its course, as it does, and should.
i'm heading back out to another beach shortly, for another sunshine low tide walk. i hope your monday is going well!