One of the activities that I enjoyed at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival was a trip to Daytona Beach Shores, which has a large concentration of gulls during the winter months. I saw Laughing Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls as well as a Bonaparte’s Gull, a Thayer’s Gull and an Iceland Gull. Being from New Mexico I had a very difficult time differentiating between the various gulls, but it was a real treat to see so many of them in one place. It was also a treat to be warm after the cold of the morning’s activities.
The gulls were at the water’s edge …
… and flying over the beach …
… and over the water. Note the splashes where the gulls are diving in the surf.
As the gulls flew in, there was competition for space at the water’s edge.
I enjoyed seeing the different species of gulls.
The experienced birders showed me other gulls in their spotting scopes: Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Bonaparte’s Gull, a Thayer’s Gull and an Iceland Gull, but I was not able to get photographs of them.
There were other lovely birds on this beach too. Brown Pelicans flew overhead.
This Royal Tern bathed happily in the waves.
I loved watching the tiny Sanderlings feeding busily at the surf’s edge.
I had never seen sunset colors over the Atlantic before.
It was a wonderful day at Daytona Beach Shores.
It is entirely possible, likely even, that I have mis-identified any number of gulls in this post. Please feel free to point out errors.