Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sabine's Gull offshore San Diego pelagic trip

Sabine's Gull
Sabine's Gull. Off San Diego, California. September 21, 2014. Greg Gillson.
The Sabine's Gull is probably the most beautiful of the world's gulls. To see one you need to either visit the Arctic in summer or go offshore of the West Coast of North America in spring and fall. Otherwise, they winter in the SE Pacific and SE Atlantic oceans. They are prone to vagrancy--even in inland lakes, especially young birds in the fall with their scaly brown backs. So even if you are unable to go to sea you may be able to see one of these striking birds if you pay attention to the rare bird hotlines.

The difficulty in seeing them only adds to the pleasure when they are encountered. Most gulls are not beloved, but the Sabine's Gull is the exception.