They are up with the first light in the morning and the daily choir of thousands of decibels hit the morning air above Bird Island. I suppose each shouts out his own hunger and intentions for fishing, and with such a crowd, there may also be a lot of admonitions to little ones not to get lost! Speaking of that: it is amazing how the parent gannets land back in their own space after flight and always know their own little black blobs from the surrounding chicks!
With creatures living so close to each other, there is apt to be some tension. Gannets relieve the tension by doing the neck-rubbing ceremony with the birds working on their nerves. It is not a mating ceremony. In this large painting, I have painted this beautiful and graceful movement. Well, here we have a lesson from the gannets: if a guy or lady grabs the parking spot we were already entering (!!!!), maybe we should shake hands or give them a little hug! See? The tension will be gone!
Further in this panorama, you will see the largish chicks, the hesitant flyers and the airborne ones. In the final and 5th post on this theme (which may only appear in ten day's time unless I get an internet connection where I am going), I will post the last of this series on the gannets of Lambert's Bay! The theme will be MAN and his relationship with the threatened birds.