My second summer on Great Gull Island is over, and I’m back on the “Big Island” for good now. I miss being there. Mostly.
Great Gull Island is small, and during the summer it is crowded. Some ten thousand pairs of terns nest on just 17 acres of land. They lay small, brown, speckled eggs on the ground, in nests that are little more than a shallow scrape ringed with some twigs or grasses. You have to walk slowly, watching the ground in front of literally every footstep, to avoid stepping on the nests.
The terns do not really care if you are being careful. They attack you. These attacks involve dive-bombing, lots of noise, projectile defecation, and occasional beak strikes that are sharp enough to draw blood. It’s like The Birds, but with better special effects. But, as LeVar Burton says, don’t take my word for it. I have video.
In the words of one friend after watching this, “Holy shit! You said there were a lot of birds, but I didn’t realize it was like National Geographic out there!”
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