Gathering Gulls

Mostly sunny this morning, becoming partly sunny this afternoon.

While out today, I went by Little Magic Island. My initial motivation was to check on Draba grandis, a plant that is common on rocky shorelines in the area. I have only found it three places along the road system.

The Draba was up. I guess I don’t know if the rosettes formed last summer/fall, or have already grown this much during the winter.

I noticed some tidepools I think I’ve before, but probably haven’t spent much time looking at. Usually if I’m there for low tide stuff, much more shoreline is exposed, and that’s where I’m spending my time.

Today I realized that despite there relatively small size and location at about the 2ft tide level, they have some interesting stuff in them.

The highlight was a branched sapsucker (Placida dendritica), a species I have only seen once before.

Longliners have begun delivering their catch after season opened on the 10th.

Accordingly, gulls have gathered in greater numbers in the channel.

I didn’t see anything unusual on my first visit. I went to look a second time, but right as I parked, a dog walker went down on the ramp and all the gulls there took flight.

I took that as a sign to go elsewhere, and ended up checking the turnaround (where I had noticed some gulls on an earlier drive by, but hadn’t stopped).

I didn’t find many gulls there, but did take some pictures of the Sandhill Crane with some nice light.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

2 thoughts on “Gathering Gulls”

  1. It is alway a wonder how so many gulls just show up this time of year. I really notice this when the herring get active. I’ll be out winter trolling and notice how they swing NE into the Sound.They smell, hear or just know somehow as they migrate NW . Then the spawning starts and they are on every beach for miles.

  2. Thanks John – it’s great to hear about your experience out on the sound. I think the gulls are probably are earliest migrants. In the past when it was easier to see the weather radar imagery, I had noticed what I thought were probably birds migrating as early as mid-February. I was guessing they were gulls. They seem to be fairly spread out (or at least not concentrated where I can see them along the road system) until the processors start taking black cod deliveries, then within just a couple of days there are piles of them in the channel. It is impressive how quickly they collect. Then, as you say, when herring are spawning it seems like there are so many on all the beaches. I imagine it must be 10s of thousands spending time here.

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