Donald Carrick's rugged, graceful water colors in mottled blue and tan are perhaps a disadvantage here as they are so much more forceful than the mildly lyrical text. The Carricks' beach bird is a gull who, wakened by geese, leaves his pond to fly over the dunes toward the ocean (""Sand drifted inland, pushed by the shoulder of the wind""), plucking a moon snail from the water, joining another gull to eat periwinkles off a rock, devouring a crab, and teaming with a flock of gulls to prey on a crowd of herring. . . until at the end of the day ""he slept standing, by the edge of the sea."" This is prettier than most such animal days, but the unvarying tone becomes monotonous and the pictures, though striking at first glance, are more decorative than really evocative.