Nature and Wildlife Photography
RBAsIvory Gull @ Grover Beach, CA



[16:07PM] November 8th, 2010 by BRAD SCHRAM: I surveyed the original seal carcass on Pismo Beach--now attended by six TVs, the mouth of Pismo Creek, and the beach between Pismo pier and the Shell Beach cliffs this afternoon. The Ivory Gull has not made an appearance today.


The LAST confirmed sighting of the Ivory Gull was on Sunday, Nov 7, 2010 at 10:10 AM.


Higher res images of the Ivory Gull can be found HERE.

Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)
(c) 2010 - Christopher Taylor - Nov 6, 2010

Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)
(c) 2010 - Christopher Taylor - Nov 6, 2010

Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)
(c) 2010 - Christopher Taylor - Nov 6, 2010

Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)
(c) 2010 - Christopher Taylor - Nov 6, 2010

Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)
(c) 2010 - Christopher Taylor - Nov 6, 2010

Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)
(c) 2010 - Christopher Taylor - Nov 6, 2010

Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)
(c) 2010 - Christopher Taylor - Nov 6, 2010

Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)
(c) 2010 - Christopher Taylor - Nov 6, 2010

Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)
(c) 2010 - Christopher Taylor - Nov 6, 2010

[11:00AM] November 8th, 2010 by BRAD SCHRAM: I just got home from Ivory Gull searching since before sunrise. The bird is NOT being seen today. We've divided forces and birded from the Santa Maria River mouth to Avila (Port San Luis)--no bird. People have been at the favorite seal carcass since before dawn.

[09:30AM] November 8th, 2010 by STEVE SOSENSKY: I spoke with Wes Fritz this morning. As of 9:30 AM the Ivory Gull had NOT BEEN SEEN. Wes is with a group of birders checking out known gull locations. They are as far north as Morro Bay and have not yet had any success. They will post if they find it. [10:10AM] November 7th, 2010 by BRAD SCHRAM: This is the last time the Ivory Gull was seen. A group will be looking for the bird tomorrow morning and I will post any news I receive here.

[8:42AM] November 7th, 2010 by BRAD SCHRAM: Wes Fritz just told me that this morning the adult IVORY GULL is cycling back and forth between the original seal carcass on the beach at the end of Grand Avenue (Pismo Beach) and a second seal carcass beneath the Kon Tiki Hotel in north Pismo Beach, near the wooden steps down to the beach. A Google map request will pinpoint the Kon Tiki. The new carcass is good news, maybe predicting a longer stay--the original carcass is past its sell-by date.

[6:41AM] November 7th, 2010 by WES FRITZ: The IVORY GULL is being seen again today, Sunday Nov.7 at the previously reported spot- the beach at the end of Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande, SLO county. It was seen feeding on the seal carcass on the beach.

Saturday, November 6th, 2010 - 16:50 - MARY FREEMAN: Mark Scheel reports this gull is still being seen as of 4:50pm. A whole lotta birders are currently enjoying it right now!

Saturday, November 6th, 2010 - 14:00 - CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR: The Ivory Gull is still present at (technically) GROVER BEACH, CA. It is at the same location as previously described. Exit GRAND AVE. off the 101 in Arroyo Grande. Take the road all the way to the beach and park at the FREE parking lot. Follow the boardwalk to the sand and there is a Pinniped carcass that the Ivory Gull was feeding on all day. It would periodically fly out to sea, or north toward the pier sometimes bathing in the Lagoon between this area and the pier.

Saturday, November 5th, 2010 - 20:35 - BRAD SCHRAM: Paul Lehman called me with the Ivory Gull news at 5:55 this evening. I dashed to Pismo Beach fifteen minutes away and walked the area where the Ivory was seen yesterday. No Ivory Gull present, very few gulls total. There are, however, the remains of a sea lion at high tide line just north of the Grand Ave. entrance to the beach--near where the Ivory was photographed yesterday. Although long dead, there were fresh large gull tracks around it and signs of recent feasting. An Ivory Gull would like it.

If you wish to look for this bird tomorrow, drive west on Grand Ave. from its turnoff at hwy. 101 in Arroyo Grande. Drive to the end. There is a (free) large parking lot on the right near a restaurant at the end of Grand. Park here and walk the beach to the north. This is the area where the bird was reported.

If the bird is not present in this area, there is often a gull flock--and often a dead gull or pelican--near the mouth of Pismo Creek 1/4 mile south of the Pismo pier. The mouth of Arroyo Grande Creek about one mile south of Grand Ave. is also a nearby gull loafing spot.

Should the bird be found, calls will be made and a posting to Calbirds ASAP.

November 5th, 2010 - 17:00 - MIKE STENSVOLD: It was on the beach just north of the north drive-in entrance to Pismo Beach/Oceano Dunes...the one where the boardwalk path to the Monarch Butterfly Grove starts...

When I first saw it from a distance, I thought it was some kind of weird pigeon, but then realized it was eating a dead Gull, and don't think pigeons would do that...

Directions to Ivory Gull


It was not shy...it let us ( a photographer/non-bird-expert friend and I) take pix for more than 5 minutes (we finally left; it was still eating)...and it did not flee when passers-by passed by closer than we were...maybe it's an escaped pet/lab animal?

Attached is a full-frame shot, with a 400mm lens on a 1.6x crop DSLR, which is equivalent to 640mm on a 35mm camera, to give an idea how close were without scaring it off...

It was not at that spot when we returned from the butterfly grove an hour or so later...but could well be somewhere along there...

Sorry I took so long to post...I sent photos to an "expert" friend when I got back from Oceano yesterday, because I couldn't find it in my bird books (it's there, I just somehow missed it)...didn't realize it's rare until I saw his his email when I got back from Lake B today...I've been scolded before for posting non-LA birds on LACoBirds, and that's the only bird group I know about...



Ivory Gull
(c) 2010 - Mike Stensvold - Nov 4, 2010

Ivory Gull
(c) 2010 - Mike Stensvold - Nov 4, 2010

Ivory Gull
(c) 2010 - Mike Stensvold - Nov 4, 2010

Ivory Gull
(c) 2010 - Mike Stensvold - Nov 4, 2010





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