Yesterday we placed a stunned surf scoter next to the hollow end of a log on the beach.
Today, near the same place, we disturbed an ancient gull sleeping on the sun-warmed pebbles of the beach. He was weak, hunched, ragged of feather and sunken of eye, obviously at the end of his days. He limped further up the beach, and settled in almost in the same spot where the scoter had rested.
A young eagle flying over startled the old gull into skittering into the scoter hollow. Protected, warm in the sun, he drifted off to sleep. He was still soundly asleep (but for the occasional head twitch) when we walked quietly by an hour later.
If the only thing we can hope for in common — the only thing that can happen to us all — is a good death, that bird could do worse.