Morro Coast Bird Festival – Part 4

February 22, 2019 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , , )

Heermann’s Gull

My favorite gull is the Heermann’s, which I had never seen until I moved to California. In its breeding colors as shown above, it is a handsome bird, but only spends the winter with us.

Heermann’s gull

I saw quite a few of them at San Simeon during the Morro Coast Bird Festival in January 2019.

There was a freshwater stream emptying into the ocean and dozens of gulls of all types were bathing in it.

Mew Gull

The mew gull was one of the bathers, and this was a life bird for me. It was pointed out by the leader of the bird trip along the San Simeon coast. This one is in nonbreeding plumage. The mew gull is smaller and more delicate looking than most other gulls on the California coast.

California Gull

The California gull also has yellow bill and legs, but is larger and has a black and red tip on the bill.

California Gull

Although the California gull bears our state name, it isn’t the most common gull around here.

Western Gull

That distinction belongs to the western gull, with its dark gray back, pink legs, and red dot on the bottom mandible.

Western gull waiting for sea otter to share

We were also treated to some royal terns patrolling the skies.

Royal Tern

Stay tuned for part 5!

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

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