The Swarm

Cover your eyes!

Britt and I were enjoying one of the last warm days of fall, sitting in the water at Ocean Beach, waiting for a wave, when we saw it.  At first we thought it was a rogue local storm raining down in the water south of us.   But it was moving and reshaping itself unlike any storm could and it was roaring towards us at an alarming speed.  A few other guys were out near us and we all stopped to look at it.  Within a minute it was upon us.  We all exchanged glances– birds!

Waves were forgotten as they surrounded us, flying frantically in circles.  The sky became black with them. We could not see the shore or the skyline, only the birds.  It was not a flock enveloping us,  it was a swarm.

We were in the eye of a hurricane of seagulls.  Thousands of birds circling us.  They were so close and there were so many that we covered our eyes with our hands to protect them.  It was insane and magical at the same time.  The flapping of wings had become white noise that made us shout our amazement and disbelief at each other.  The number of birds built around us into a spinning, shrieking wall and then, as suddenly as they appeared, they shifted direction as a whole and they were gone, a black cloud flying towards the horizon.


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