The website for the SpringShot ride at Morey’s Pier in Wildwood, New Jersey tells you to “Climb up. Strap in. Hold on as spring power and steel aircraft cables send you straight up into the air.” Left off from the last sentence, a young girl recently learned, was the phrase “and directly into the flight path of a seagull.”
Kiley Holman undoubtedly got closer to the birds than ever she expected when she and her friend were launched into the air on the ride. Just a second after the ride began, her path crossed with that of a seagull flying above.
Since every possible moment in time is a moment when one can be birding, we should pause to ID the innocent victim gull. Doing so turns out to be pretty easy. From the picture above, we see nearly all black primary tips, dark gray upper wings, a white bar on the trailing edge of the wing, and a white tail. The still below gives us a great look at the gull’s dark hood and white arc above the eye. Given the location, we can basically rule out Franklin’s Gull, and conclude that’s an irony-free Laughing Gull doing a face-plant on this girl at an amusement park.