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Nature / Photography / Seascapes / Wildlife

Gulls are everywhere. Gulls are a dime a dozen. They’re not special. They’re not particularly beautiful. They’re not evocative. Gulls are a waste of time. I don’t shoot gulls.

Yeah. Right.

The only statement above that’s even partially true is the first one: they do seem to be almost everywhere.

Meet Spot. Spot is a Western Gull of a certain age who hangs out in the vicinity of Tomalas Bay in California. Spot was given his name by the owner of a vacation house we rented on a recent weekend.


The information book in the house said that Spot has been hanging around for many years, charming guests out of treats. Years? We looked it up: Western Gulls commonly live fifteen years and can live up to twenty-five years. Clearly Spot deserved respect. And a treat.

Since gulls are scavengers, we figured a few oyster crackers wouldn’t hurt. He readily agreed, as my wife made the offering.


A few weeks before, I was shooting brown pelicans near Monterey when this gorgeous gull swept by (sweeping my attention as well) and did a dramatic fly-by in front of a breaking wave. Backlit. Spectacular.


A little more than six months earlier we were marveling at Fur Seals on the Otago Peninsula on the South Island of New Zealand when this graceful Black-Backed Gull glided by, framed by creamy clouds. Yeah. Right. Gulls aren’t evocative . . .

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(Nikon D850, Nikon D500. Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2, Tamron 100-400 F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 ED VR zoom.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. It all depends doesn’t it? There’s that Turneresque light in the surf….and what an interesting expression in the first photo. This individual clearly knows how to make eye contact with humans. 😉


    • Indeed! All the better to get treats from humans. I believe “bird brains“ are largely underrated. And yes there is indeed a Turneresque light in the surf. As you can see from a later post, I am a huge fan of Turner.


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