Tag Archives: Laughing Gull

~A Ride Along the Bolivar Peninsula

Short-billed Dowitcher
Short-billed Dowitcher

March, 2015  in Texas…

On the second day, of our two day stay near Hight Island, Texas we decided to take a ride to the Gulf of Mexico. We drove along the Bolivar Peninsula until we reached the Galveston ferry and retraced our drive back toward High Island. We were not interested in going into Galveston.

As we crossed over Rollover Pass we noticed what looked like birds near the shoreline of the south end of Rollover Bay. I am glad we turned into this parking lot, where people were fishing, some were  birding, but mostly they were enjoying this bay that leads into the Gulf of Mexico.

A couple tidbits of interesting history about Rollover Pass – it is a man-made strait that cuts through private property on the Bolivar Peninsula and links the Gulf of Mexico with Rollover Bay and East Bay in Galveston. Rollover Pass earned its name from the practice of smugglers who, from the days of Spanish rule through prohibition, avoided the Galveston customs station by rolling barrels of import or export merchandise over the narrowest park of the  peninsula.

Today people visit this area, from all over the world, to camp, fish and bird. We must have hit this area just when a few hundred birds decided they needed a rest. We saw Gulls, Terns, Pelicans, Egrets, Dowitchers, Godwits, Avocets, Willets and I am sure some that I missed. Migrating birds as they rested at Rollover Bay on this day, March 24, 2015.

Short-billed Dowitcher
Short-billed Dowitcher
_MG_4454
Resting. I think that is a Willet resting with them.
Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer
_MG_4459
Black-Skimmers in the background.
_MG_4466
This is my first time seeing so many Black Skimmers at once. Avocets and other Terns in the background.
"Get your foot off of mt face."
“Get your foot off of mt face.”
Laughing Gull - Adult Breeding
Laughing Gull – Adult Breeding

More photos to follow of our time spent at Rollover Bay, Bolivar Peninsula, Texas.

Sharing with:

~Charlotte at Prairie Birder for “Feathers on Friday”

at https://prairiebirder.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/feathers-on-friday-144/#comment-7176

~Friday’s Feathered Friend~ (Laughing Gull)

~Laughing Gull~ (adult) Black hood, black legs, white underparts, white crescent marks above and below eyes, reddish beak, broad white collar.

Added to my Birding Life List in April 10, 1993~

Laughing Gull
Laughing Gull
"Go Away"
“Go Away”
"I'am getting bored"
“I’am getting bored”

Laughing Gulls  were named, because they have a laughter like call! They are medium-sized gulls with fairly long wings and long legs that impart a graceful look when they are flying or walking. They have stout, fairly long bills. Adult Laughing Gulls are medium gray above and white below.

Summer adults have a crisp black hood, white arcs around the eye, and a reddish bill. In winter, the hood becomes a blurry gray mask on a white head.

The legs are reddish black to black. Immatures are much browner and more subtly patterned than adults; they take 2-3 years to gain adult plumage.

In the early 20th century, the Laughing Gull was threatened by the feather trade. Today they are common, stable over much of their range and numbers have been increasing in the northeastern US in recent years.

If you are interested in learning more about the Laughing Gull, please visit this web-site or any other birding web-site:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/laughing_gull/id

Close Up
Close Up

I found the fact that they take 2-3 years to gain adult plumage very interesting. I took these photos on a beach near Destin, Florida about a week ago. Notice the white tail, therefore I think it is an adult in winter plumage. Some people don’t like gulls; however I enjoy watching and photographing them. I believe they serve a purpose along our shorelines.

This gull was standing about 10 feet from the edge of the Gulf, looking out over the waves, perhaps waiting for a  Pelican to drop a morsel of food at its feet.

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Just as I am! Every Friday you may participate in Feathers on Friday at Prairie Birder.

Here is Charlotte’s Blog web-site:

http://prairiebirder.wordpress.com

This is another great Blog to learn about Birds!

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Enjoy Birdwatching!

It can be entertaining as well as educational!

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Some of my information for this post was taken from Field Guide to Birds of North America, Smithsonian Handbook, Birds of North America and Cornell Lad of Ornithology and their website All About Birds.