Why do the seagulls always fly south at sunset in M.B. and Sunset Cliffs?

Dear Matt:

I've lived in Manhattan Beach and San Diego and noticed the same thing at sunset at both locations. The seagulls always flew south at sunset in M.B., and the seagulls and pelicans do the same at Sunset Cliffs. Is it due to a sundowner bird happy hour at Hussong's? Could it have something to do with the overnight safety of the cliff "hangouts" that are south of both locations--Ballast Point in Point Loma, Palos Verdes south of M.B.? Seriously concerned about FWIs-- flying while intoxicated.

-- Gene Liss, Point Loma

Had plenty of volunteers to go to Ensenada this weekend and check IDs on any Larus californicus sleeping it off under a park bench. But no need for such drastic measures. Your second guess sounds pretty good to us. It's a trend we'd like to encourage-- questions that contain their own correct answers. A real time-saver at our end.

Gulls, master scavengers that they are, spend their mornings and evenings much as we do. Commuting. Back and forth, same old patterns, day in, day out. Mornings they head for the feeding trough. Maybe a juicy landfill, the gull equivalent of a tossed salad with a million surprises. Or a nice public beach, park, or restaurant row. Many gulls have diets not so different from the average teenager. Fries, burgers, chips. Whatever they can beg, scrounge, or steal from some other gull. Evenings they burp their way back to their roosting spots. Someplace quiet and secluded. When birds aren't looking for food, they're looking out for predators.

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