Seagull Portraits

Call me crazy, but I love the seagulls at the beach. I don’t mind when they walk right up to my blanket or lay together in groups of 20 on the beach, or squawk at one another. I spent yesterday watching them, and decided I would make a post of Seagull Portraits. Ok, call me crazy again, but they are beautiful to my eye. So here they are.

Day of the Seagulls

Going to the beach on a weekday is so different from going on the weekend. We arrived to find the beach mostly empty and as people did come, everyone had enough room to take a space without intruding on anyone else. I don’t know if it was the lack of people, but the beach was filled with seagulls all day, everywhere you looked. I have gotten used to them strolling by where I am sitting, but yesterday they lounged around right next us, sleeping and watching the surf. One bird kept swooping into the surf, who I later identified as a Common Tern. There were Muscle Shells galore that had washed in with the surf, so it was open Buffet all day. Here are some of the seagull sights I saw.

Common Tern

Common Tern on the lookout!

Laughing Gull

Lunchtime!

Fearless Oystercatcher foucsed on finding lunch as someone approaches

The Buffet is Open!

You lookin’ at me? This guy was sitting within  arms reach of me

And the Oystercatcher who never stops moving along the surf.

Feathers on Friday: Osprey

From All About Birds: Unique among North American raptors for its diet of live fish and ability to dive into water to catch them, Ospreys are common sights soaring over shorelines, patrolling waterways, and standing on their huge stick nests, white heads gleaming. These large, rangy hawks do well around humans and have rebounded in numbers following the ban on the pesticide DDT. Ospreys are very large, distinctively shaped hawks. Despite their size, their bodies are slender, with long, narrow wings and long legs. They fly with a marked kink in their wings, making an M-shape when seen from below. Their length21.3–22.8 in (54–58 cm)and wingspan59.1–70.9 in (150–180 cm)

A pair of Ospreys chose a local cell phone tower in town to build their nest, and I had the pleasure of catching sight of them there this week. The tower is located across the street from a marsh and river, making it a perfect place to take up residence and find meals.

I stood below the the tower to capture these photos- their clarity is not the best because of the height distance and the sun. But I still felt they were worth sharing.

The nest is on the right side of the tower.

You can see the “kink” in the wings while in flight

Feathers on Friday

 

 

 

 

Feathers on Friday: Oystercatcher

Last week while sitting near the shoreline at the beach, I heard a squawking that caught my attention. I looked up to see a bird with a long red bill running along in the surf. This was no Seagull. I grabbed my camera and walked closer to the edge of the water to capture some shots.

This beautiful bird is called an Oystercatcher. It is specialized in feeding on bivalves (oysters, clams, and mussels) and uses its brightly colored bill to get at them. Seen along the  Atlantic and Gulf Coast beaches, I was told by someone on the beach that they have nests under the boardwalk.

The name Oystercatcher was coined by Mark Catesby in 1731 as a common name for the North American species described as eating oysters. In 1843 this name was established as the preferred term, replacing the older name sea pie.