Laughing Gulls Feeding Frenzy

While observing LAUGHING GULLS in Gulf Shores, AL earlier this month I realized once again I miss gulls. I have stated before when we lived in Illinois there were numerous gulls along the Illinois River Flyway. Mainly RING-BILLED GULLS, but occasionally others in season. Searching through a flock of gulls always seemed to round out a day of birding.

DSCN3447

Laughing Gull – Gulf Shores AL 8/1/16

I spent a little time watching Laughing Gulls while they were most active in the early morning. They were already on the beach when I when I arrived before sunrise. Do they roost there?

DSCN3934

Like the other mornings I had to keep an eye on the weather. This storm spent the day over the beach about 6 miles away.

DSCN3798 Laughing Gull

There were already large numbers of Laughing Gulls when I went out in the morning. I counted 500 along our stretch of the beach.

I used to spend hours watching and aging the Ring-billed, bordering on a gull geek. But not quite. I didn’t spend much time aging the Laughing Gulls but differences were obvious.

DSCN3823

This was one of the few with reddish legs. Not sure what else it has on its leg.

DSCN3830

This guy looks good for a juvenile.

DSCN3836

As does this one.

DSCN3827

A Second Year?

I enjoyed watching them fly back and forth up the coast and out to sea to feed. Their slow, efficient wing beats in unison.

DSCN4075

DSCN4076

DSCN4079

DSCN4078

DSCN4077

These are photos of the same gull. Talk about the consistency of the wing beat. They look like the same photos repeated over and over.

The best part was when the gulls found a pool of little fish and went crazy feeding on them. All ages partook as did the nearby Great Blue Herons.

DSCN3816 Laughing Gulls

Here are the gulls going crazy feeding in a tidal pool.

DSCN3957

Here are the small fish they were feeding on.

Following is an attempt at a video of the gulls feeding. Please forgive the first few seconds as I learn to use the video on the camera.

I use to periodically see this feeding action on the Illinois River involving hundreds of gulls, but never this close.

It was fun to watch.

I miss gulls.

This entry was posted in ABA Area and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *