Chasing Sabine's up Ocean Beach

Richard Bradus

Hi all

The plucky Sabine's Gull continues at Ocean Beach, though seeing it is a matter of patience and luck (no real skill needed).

I started at about 10:45 this morning (Apr. 8) across from the north windmill and initially headed north, scanning the mostly sleeping mixed Western/Mew flock. Nope. There were just a few Mew gulls at the water's edge, so I continued south, scanning multiple groups of gulls, then lots of Whimbrels and Sanderlings. Down by Noriega or so I was just about to give up when a small flock of small gulls flew by from the south, including the Sabine's (yea!) - but they continued north. Huffing back north up the beach, the Sabine's seemed to lead the rather skittish bunch, flying further north with every little disturbance from joggers or dogs. They went as far north as Fulton (at least). It (they) finally settled where multiple observers have reported it, across from the Beach Chalet, where the flock rested at or in the water's edge. The Sabine's did a lot of preening around its chest wound/scar; whatever the injury it does not appear to be hampering its flight or feeding ability, thankfully.

Not too many species although there were a number of confusing gulls (confusing to me anyway - immatures and hybrids). Also a less than pleasant sight of three ravens scavenging the carcass of a Red-necked Grebe in partial alternate plumage, with the red neck still more or less intact. Much nicer was seeing numerous Sanderlings getting nice juicy clams. Yum!

Missing the rain, but a good excuse to get out and enjoy the sunshine!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

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