Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

Musings about birds, nature, and our meanderings on the Central Oregon Coast

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Smudge", Our Resident Western Gull

A few days after we got home from our Thanksgiving in Las Vegas, we began noticing that a single gull was returning every day to our deck. At times he would try the seed in the feeder (then gack it up), but mostly he just preened and sat and stared at us (and our cat) through the window.

Here he is on December 7th, 2013, a few days after his appearance.

I thought he was a Herring Gull, and posted the following photo of him on Oregon Birds - discovered that he is a slightly smudgy WESTERN GULL.

Taken 1/6/2014 - he had been hanging around about 4 weeks
Some days he "talks" to us, or to our cat "Don Diego".  Mostly, he just sits watching us through the window. In the above photo, you can see the protruding feather that lets us know it's the same gull.

Taken 1/16/2014, he had damaged his bill and was bleeding slightly
Today, February 10, 2014, he is still returning to his regular spot.  This photo, taken yesterday, shows how he has changed. 

"Smudge" is not so smudgy anymore!
Most of the smudginess is gone!  Getting ready for breeding season?

So now I am curious how long he will be coming around - and how long will we know it's the same bird?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pre-Superbowl Stroll

Today we decided to stroll down on the beach rather than watching the pre-game hype. It was just past high tide, and there was only one other couple far down the beach.  No other people, no dogs, just us... nice.

We enjoyed watching the aptly-named SURF SCOTERS playing in the surf.

I love their bright, colorful "clown" faces and the way they ride the waves, diving just before the break.
Surf Scoter
On the walk back up the beach, a gull was crying overhead - we looked up to see a beautiful RED-TAILED HAWK being harassed by the gull.  It reeled up and out of sight.  

But as we walked our hill, there was the hawk, perched on a tree on our street. It posed for a few minutes then lifted off into the wind -

I snapped several photos as it rode the wind, every now and then pausing mid-air to "kite" before it finally moved slowly away.

We got home in plenty of time to fix snacks and watch the big game!