Friday, March 19, 2010

Beautiful Gull

Friday, March 19, 2010

On the pelagic trip I joined out of San Diego, California, in early March, I got a chance to take a few images of what just might be North America's most beautiful gull. Note that I said "gull" not "girl." And I suppose this is where, by law, I am required to insert the joke "I wish they all could be California gulls."

We did see Cali gulls on the trip, as well as western, ring-billed, Bonaparte's, and glaucous-winged. But the most beautiful, in my Humboldt (Current) opinion is the Heermann's gull. Breeding adults are sooty-gray above, white below, with a white head and bright red bill. They just appear elegant mixed in with the other, often larger, gulls.Like most pelagic trips, our was a chum fest. Bag after bag of bright orange popcorn kept the gulls glued to our stern. They were mostly westerns, but the Heermann's were the next most populous. Above you can see San Diego in the background as we leave the harbor.

Heermann's gull adult.

Hard as it was to get a decent shot of a flying bird while standing on a rolling boat deck, I managed one or two keepers.

Heermann's gull adult.

I'll post more about this trip in the near future. After all, I've just gotta share the experience of getting a handful of lifers.


On March 19, 2010 at 11:47 AM Jason Kessler said...

Wow, field guide pix don't do this species justice.

On March 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM KaHolly said...

I think you just might be right about that!! What a spectacularly beautiful gull - almost doesn't look real. Great shots of it on the wing, despite the challenge! ~karen

On March 20, 2010 at 2:24 AM Unknown said...

Nice Blog Bill,love the Heerman's Gulls,as a bit of a gull buff myself,the favourtite i have managed to see is an Adult Ross's,what a beauty!!,keep up the great work!.

On March 21, 2010 at 2:02 AM cindyzlogic said...

Beautiful color on this Gull, Bill! Thanks for sharing it!