October 20, 2006 - The Birds
One of the things you think of when you think about the ocean and the wharf, and the beach, are birds. As the fishing boats head back to the harbor, circles of sea gulls follow closely behind. Flocks of pelican speed over the sea just above the water, moving higher and lower with the ocean swells, looking for fish below. But, as you know, many of those same pelicans hang out at the wharf watching people fish, hoping for handouts. At the beach, families of sandpipers run in and out with the tide, poking their beaks in to the sand to find some tasty critter hiding there.
Yesterday, the dedicated staff of edhat.com went to Stearns Wharf to count the birds. You might say it was an assignment for the birds, and we just did.
It was just like the time we counted the planks - a short walk on the long pier, from the street to the end and back, carrying nothing more than our counters and our camera.
On the initial driving part of the wharf there were no birds, just cars and pedestrians, and people off to the side on the sand trying to get a share of the tourist market. The guy who does a daily sand sculpture of either a naked woman or a soldier was there. Today it was a naked woman facing out at the ocean looking for birds made out of sand. Another guy was making some kind of wood art with fire created by putting a magnifying glass under the sun. At the end of the wharf driveway, at the spot of the first restaurant
(which one we can't remember – they're all the same aren't they?), was a man asking for money because his dog wears sunglasses – kind of like Edhat.
The birds at the retail and food part of the wharf are not sea-faring aviators. They are pigeons. At the fishing end of the wharf, we saw a handful of seagulls and one docile pelican, but there were mostly pigeons there as well. There were a lot pigeons by the outdoor seating area. There, they watch your food like hawks, often not even waiting until you're finished before they attempt a peck.
In our counting, our there-and-back journey allowed us to get a look at every plank and rooftop, including the Sea Center. Birds are migratory,
so we could have counted the same one twice. But since we only counted each location once, the numbers should have evened out. At the end of our walk, we had counted 112 birds.
In yesterday's contest, Edhat subscriber Mey had a birdie, a one under par guess of 111. No one hit a birds-eye, so that was the closest guess. Mey wins a cool Edhat t-shirt. Today is Shirt Patrol Friday (SPF). We will be flying all over town delivering shirts. If you are a winner, and you have gotten your address to us, we Mey be dropping a present off on our doorstep.
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