Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 138 - Pacific Gulls

If you happen to have posted any pictures of gulls on your blog, it is more than likely that I have mentioned that we don't have many species of gulls in Australia in a comment.

Back in the dim and distant past I used to try to find 'interesting' gulls in the UK - all with a consistent level of failure I must say.  I still scan gull flocks here, but the chance of finding anything other than a Silver Gull (our default 'sea-gull'), a massive looking Pacific Gull or the rather restricted Kelp Gull, are pretty slim.

These are some shots I took of Pacific Gulls that were loafing around on the beach at Walkerville, a small seaside community about 2 1/4 hours SE of Melbourne.

While scale is hard to judge, the size and shape of the beak gives a reasonable indication that this bird is huge. Large males can weigh over 1.5 kg and have a wingspan of almost 170 cm.  The banded birds in these shots were either banded as chicks - or by people with no regard for their own safety!

This bird is in the 'classic' gull genus - Larus - and its specific name 'pacificus' is as misleading as its common name.  In reality this is a bird of the Southern Ocean.

I rather like these birds - especially the juvenile doing a spot of yoga!





Now its over to you - click the blue button and off you go.  And don't forget to visit other WBWers and to leave a comment to say you visited!  Cheers SM.

47 comments:

Andrew Fulton said...

Lovely images of these gulls Stewart

Findlay Wilde said...

They are great pictures. I am trying to get better at IDing gulls, but I do find them a bit tricky. We have been really lucky to have a Laughing Gull quite close to home recently. I think it is still at New Brighton on the Wirral now.

TexWisGirl said...

they do have some pretty serious beaks!

Adam Jones said...

That is an incredible bill.

thewovenspoke said...

Wonderful shots, the Pacific Gull is daunting when you have large groups that are attracted to picnickers . I really like the shot of the juvenile.

Missy George said...

I think our gulls bills are different..Great shots! I just saw the date on your post..I forgot..You are a day ahead of us?? I don't think I have any birds to share this week..Maybe I'll pull out a really old favorite..

Marie said...

Beautiful Pacific Gulls! Love their interesting bill. Glad you found these.

Andrea Priebe said...

They look like they could do some serious damage with those beaks ... are they aggressive like some Gulls can be? I love gulls ... they are a hoot to watch and great fisherman. Our most common gulls are the Ring Billed gulls, but we have many others pass through here during migration. We also have many Terns that are awesome to watch. Gulls have personality and they are survivers which is why I like them so much. Great post, Stewart :)

Andrea @ From The Sol

Breathtaking said...

Have never seen a Pacific Gull.Their bills are huge, but they are striking to look at. Great pictures Stewart!:)

Sylvia K said...

Love that "yogo doing" bird!! How fun! Terrific captures as always, Stewart! Hope your week is going well!!

Frank said...

Great images Stewart. It's a big bruiser and that bill could certainly do some damage!

I sometimes wish we had fewer species but then it wouldn't be so much fun (or painful) scanning a few hundred looking for the odd one out.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Cool looking birds.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I love any kind of gull - they always seem so content where ever they are.

HansHB said...

Awesome serie! Are these gulls special for Australia?

Linda W. said...

The gull doing a yoga pose made me laugh! Nice shots!

Neil said...

Great shots of the gulls, wish they would come up this way.

bailey-road.com said...

Quite an impressive looking gull. Great find and great shots.

Nora said...

Looks like a large gull that is for sure. We have several gulls here but I am not good at the id of them. This gull does have a large bill. I don't think I would get too close to that gull. Great photos and wonderful to see birds from all around the world. Thanks for hosting.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Living inland all my life, I never gained much experience with the gulls. Their various plumage phases and the interbeeding makes ID all the more difficult. I've never seen a gull with such a big beak!

Chris Rohrer said...

That bill is so distinct!!! Really amazing. Love gulls and their ID. This one seems like it would be easier to pick out among all the others! Nice pics!

Brian King said...

Very handsome! The beaks are quite impressive!

mick said...

Great photos of the Gulls. Any of those bigger gulls that make it up here are very special indeed.

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I like that one-legged wing stretch.

Mike said...

We don't get a great number of gulls here in Iowa, either, but the Mississippi River does bring a few. Like you, I always scan the groups for some weird outlier, but usually just the Ring-Billed and Herring. Cool how your boring and "normal" gulls would be lifers for me, though! Great shots.

Iowa Voice

edenhills said...

These are great shots!

bettyl-NZ said...

I see these all the time at the coast but I still find them fascinating to watch. Their size is quite impressive!

Jo said...

Hi Stewart, thanks for the interesting post on gulls. They do have interesting bills, don't they? I enjoyed the juveniles as well. This is my first post on SA birding; hopefully I'm back into joining your meme again. Have a great day. Jo

Pat Tillett said...

Very nice photos Stewart! Those beaks look like tools.

pattisjarrett said...

I couldn't help but notice the size of the bill. Impressive bird. The juvie has nice form, its yoga instructor must be proud. :)

Margaret Adamson said...

Superb images of these birds. Thanks for hosting.

Joyful said...

Enjoyed your gull photos. We get some here on the coast as well but I'm not sure what kind.

Small City Scenes said...

That Gull does have a huge beak. I don't want to fight over any food with him.
MB

Irma said...

Beautiful images of these gulls.
Perfect photographed, Stewart.
Best regards, Irma

Lea said...

Love the bird doing yoga!
Thanks for hosting WBW

Nick V. said...

They are impressive, Stewart! Thanks for hosting.

Mama Zen said...

Beautiful shots, Stewart!

Bethany Carson said...

I do like the young bird stretching its wings--must be absorbing the warm sunlight!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That baby gull is a heck of a lot better at balance poses than I am. All very nice pictures.

I have noticed before from your blog that our area of Florida looks a lot like Queensland... I think we'd feel right at home there (and I wish we could find out for sure!)

June Caedmon said...

Those beaks do look formidable, Stewart! Great shots and thanks for hosting!

Susan said...

Hi Stewart, I enjoyed your post about the gulls. Those colours in the beak are so beautiful, I always like to see them. Great photos, especially of the wing stretch :D)

Linda said...

I enjoyed your sea bird pictures.

Ratty said...

Wonderful pictures. I don't have many gulls here either, mainly because there isn't a lot of water.

diane b said...

He sure has a menacing looking beak.

Derek said...

Interesting post.

Here in SE Asia I never see any gulls, and I miss 'em. I used to see thousands during every seaside holiday that I took as a kid in the UK.

Have a nice day.

A Quiet Corner said...

That Yoga move is impressive. I always wonder why certain birds do that (not Yoga) but stand on one leg...:)JP

CountryMouse said...

Love the yoga happening. Those gulls have seriously fat beaks. I wouldn't want to fight them for chip.

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