The town of Seaside (Birding Oregon p. 121) is an interesting sandwich, great birding spots on the edges and touristy stuff in the middle. On the south side of town is The Cove, a pebble beached cove teaming with gulls, seabirds, rock-loving shorebirds, and marine mammals. To the north is the Necanicum River Esturary, a feeding and resting area for gulls, terns, and sand and mud-loving shorebirds. The Seaside area is a great spot to study gulls, with a diversity of species and age groups.
In mid to late summer, large numbers of Heeman’s Gulls hang out at The Cove. These birds are stunning, even in their winter plumage. Even the most devout Laridaephobe must appreciate these gray velvet beauties with the crimson bills.
“It’s exhausting being this beautiful!”
This gull is also primarily gray, but doesn’t quite have the rich color saturation of a Heerman’s. This is a first cycle Western Gull.
Here is a distant shot of an adult Western Gull tackling a very large crab. The gull is either very ambitious or very hungry.