As a lingering group of birders were scoping out a flock of a thousand-ish gulls near the end of the trip on Saturday, a mallard flew overhead. At least one of the gulls mistook this waterfowl for a raptor and took off. The rest followed. Several thousand gulls all taking flight at the same time is a pretty amazing site. Most of us stopped looking through our scopes and instantly raised our binoculars to our eyes to see if we could pick out any random rare-looking gulls in flight. The sense of amazement soon turned to panic as what moments before was a dazzling aerial display quickly became an aerial assault - on our dignity. Amazingly enough, no birders were taken casualty to the onslaught of droppings, but there were many that were too close for comfort. After this experience I think the phrase "hit the deck" needs to become part of the birding vernacular.
On a somewhat related note, Jeff mentioned to a few of us while walking around Lake Park a shirt that he had seen (heard of?, owned?) that had various drawings of whitewash with the names of different birds underneath… a sort of Bird Poop Identification guide on a shirt. I tried looking to see if this shirt existed online somewhere and could only come up with this:
Another interesting bird poop related topic is how many creatures have evolved a defense mechanism to actually camouflage themselves as bird poop. Check out this blog post for some crazy bird poop look-a-likes: Blog. Here is an example:
Next time a large flock of birds flies over head, make sure to resist the urge to stare straight up as they fly overhead. If you can't resist, at least make sure your mouth is closed. Come to think of it, I got nailed by a starling about a week ago. Good thing I wasn't looking up at the time.
No matter how bad your Monday is going, it’s probably not as bad as this guy’s:
Do you have any good stories of getting nailed by our feathered friends flying overhead?