Tuesday, December 13, 2011

California Gull

Between work, traveling, bad weather and more lighting gigs I haven't had much time to get out birding or to tend to this blog. I'm in Washington, DC right now on business and will return late tomorrow night. Then, just two days of work and I'm on vacation for the rest of the year! Hopefully, we'll have some reasonable weather so I can take advantage of the time off.
Meanwhile, I'm digging back in the archives to my trip to Bayocean Spit on Aug 13th. I found this friendly juvenile California Gull along the beach just before my encounter with the shorebirds.
I love how wide gulls open their mouths when the call out.

And strut on the beach.

I've observed the behavior above several times with gulls (and other birds on occasion). I suppose they are just stretching like we do, but it seem unusual to do it with just side. Birds tend to be symmetrical.

Although it seems late for the date, I'm guessing that this gull is transitioning from a 2nd winter California Gull into a second summer. Note that it has the general look of a 2nd winter (bill still has a black band at the tip), but that it is molting into gray feathers. It's about time too as its older feathers are really beat up.
If I've mis-aged this gull, let me know as I'd like to become better at this difficult skill.

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