Lately whenever I drive into Gualala, our little town here just north of Sea Ranch, I would see a huge colony of seagulls off to the west along a sand spit at the Gualala River estuary. The river flow is still not high enough to have punched through to the ocean yet, put the large beach front has nevertheless attracted flocks of gulls. Armed with a new 70-200mm lens I got for Christmas, I thought I would finally head down there to try out my new lens and see just what this was all about.
I had great fun walking amidst these birds, and they would let me get pretty close. I’ve been around gulls all my life, having grown up near Jones Beach in Long Island. My goal was not to harass them, but to get close enough to get some decent shots. I watched from afar for a while, and noticed that they would just sit for a while, and then large groups of them would just take off and head down the beach. They didn’t appear to be feeding. So I moseyed up to the group, until they took off when I got too close. So I sat down and just hung out for awhile and got some interesting shots. I hope you enjoy the images.
This was a piece of “Found Art”, so I thought I would give it it’s due. People just can’t help being creative when they get the chance.
When you get down the their level it’s amazing what you can see, like hundreds of little pink feet. The darker brownish gulls in the center are likely in their first winter, given their plumage.
These birds are just beautiful against the sky. When I was a kid my brother and I raised pigeons, and they would fly every day in a close pattern following a leader. These guys here didn’t seem to get that ‘follow the leader’ gene.
The three brown pelicans in the center just dropped in to check out the scene. They didn’t seem at all bothered by me or the thousand or so gulls around.
Seagulls suffer from what I call the “Oleander Effect”. We have oleanders shrubs here in California, and they are abslolutely beautiful. Unfortunately though, they are everywhere, including median strips along hundreds of miles of highways. Their commonness unfairly detracts from their beauty, and so it is for the seagulls. So when I can, I try to give them a little air time. What a fun day!
Equipment: Nikon D3s, Nikkor 70-200mm Lens