Ducks and Fritos


There are a lot of birds up here.

I mean, a lot-a lot.

It's not like I've never seen ducks or geese before, but I'm just not used to big groups of them together . . . waddling around . . . and fighting flocks of seagulls while swans float on by without a care in the world.

Every morning, I'm woken by a chorus of: "quackquackquackquackquack"--you'd think it would be annoying, but I giggle every time I hear it. There's something comical about silly bird noises.

So, of course I was excited when I took a little trip to Mercer Beach and encountered lots of new, feathered friends. Initially, I was just looking for an outdoor area to rest and enjoy the mild, sunny weather that snuck its way into the late weekend. I found a sandy rock and plopped myself down.

My little perch.

I watched the ducks glide through the shallow lake water, then noticed they were coming closer and closer to the shore's edge.

Initial thought:  "Oh my gosh!  They're coming so close--I'm going to get some great pictures!"
Second thought:  "Rarrr . . . what's wrong with the automatic focus on this thing?!!"  (Yes, I cheat.)

Third thought:  "Hmm . . . they're getting out of the water?  They're coming towards me!  They . . . oh, they want food."

I didn't have any food. Sure, I had just scarfed down a coney and fries at Tom's Root Beer Stand down the road, but I didn't think to save some crumbs. Hmpfh.

But, hark--the ducks quickly realized that there were some other people sitting not too far away from me. Fortunately, the little waddlers didn't attack me out of hunger/anger, and wiggled their little selves over to a picnicking family. Jackpot.

"No food here. Quack, quack. Let's go bug those other people. Quack."

The little waterlings quickly made friends with this little guy (and his leftover Fritos):

If you look closely, you can see that he's spilling more out of the bag than he's tossing to the duckies.
"Quack, quack. Sure are some good snacks. Quack."

I never really thought of ducks as being cute before, but come on--look at that.

Quack, quack.

Enter the seagulls.


Now, depending on where you're from, you may or may not have much experience with seagulls. If you're not familiar with this species, here's all you need to know: they're greedy, little thieves. And when they see food, they come a-flockin'.

Wish I had gotten a video during this--the ducks and the seagulls went absolutely crazy. And yet, I remained standing right under them, not too worried about being attacked . . . or being pooped on. I must have temporarily lost my mind, because it was slightly like being in the middle of a Hitchcock movie.

EEEEEEE, EEEEEEEE! (Not as cute as the little quackers.)

After about five minutes of absolute chaos, the birds snarfed up the rest of the food and parted ways.

And then, it was Sunday afternoon all over again. Calm and beautiful, water lapping the sand.


Those little ducks don't have it so bad.