Silver gulls and lights

To: "" <>
Subject: Silver gulls and lights
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 20:22:06 +1000
Some years ago I visted the Webb Dock (container shipping) in the Port
of Melbourne, very close to the mouth of the Yarra, after dark. The
travelling crane was hard at work (a fascinating machine by the way) 
lifting containers from the ship and transporting them to a stack. The
whole scene, ship and wharf, was well lit up, and a huge flock of Silver
Gulls was flying about over the ship and the River. Some may have been
catching insects attracted by the lights, but most were feeding on the
river and close to the shore at the ship's stern where large numbers of
tiny fish could be seen at the surface. Presumably the fish were
attracted by the lights. I doubt if any fish were over two or three
inches long and many much smaller.

Incidentally, I have seen Silver Gulls hawking in the air for flying
insects late in the evening, after flying insects - possibly a hatch of
flying-ants - when it was almost dark, with only the last remains of the
after-glow and no artificial lights at all. This was in summer, over the
tea-tree scrub of the Seaford foreshore. Presumably their eyes can adapt
as the light fades.

Anthea Fleming
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