With their graceful white wings and jay-like raspy call, Bonaparte's gulls are a glorious part of the B.C. coast summer scenery, though I don't think I see them as often as I used to on Saltspring Island. Go to the Discovery Islands or Denman and Hornby and they're still there, floating over the wide, calm waters of the Strait of Georgia.
Much as they're part of summer, they're also harbingers of summer's ends. By the beginning of August, almost all of them have lost the black heads of their breeding plumage and are wearing wintry white.