Bathing Beauty… er… California Gull

/, Birds, California Gulls, Utah/Bathing Beauty… er… California Gull

California Gull bathingCalifornia Gull bathing

Okay, I admit it. I think gulls are beautiful and this California Gull sure looked that way bathing! Look at those bright white feathers, the dark sparkling eyes rimmed in red, the darker contrasting gray feathers, the color and shape of the bill. What’s not to like about that?

Lifting upLifting up

Yeah, I know. Some folks think they are trash birds. I don’t. I think they have grace when they are in flight, on the beach or bathing like this one was.

Fluttering California GullFluttering California Gull

I sort of agree their calls can be loud and harsh but they aren’t always calling. Yeah, they frequent dumps but I reckon we sort of gave them those dumps because there weren’t any for the eons that came before humans arrived in North America. Yeah, they scavenge but so do Bald and Golden Eagles and who hates them?

California Gull shaking the water off its wingsCalifornia Gull shaking the water off its wings

I had fun photographing this California Gull, it was interesting to watch it bathe to see the various poses it took and the wing positions that I saw. This pose reminds me of the one Kate Winslet had when she portrayed Rose DeWitt Bukater on the bow of the Titanic. I’ve never seen the movie by the way but I am familiar with the iconic scene from the Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

One final flutterOne final flutter

But I digress… This was a puddle in a dirt road that the gull bathed in, it only existed because of the rains we’d had for a few days before I took this series of the gull bathing. It is bone dry now though.

Just how goofy can I look for the photographer?Just how goofy can I look for the photographer?

And who can resist goofy bird images? I can’t and this is a pretty goofy looking image. I didn’t know a gull’s head could twist that far.

A drink of water after a bathA drink of water after a bath

After the gull was done bathing it took a few drinks from the puddle before it flew away. Yes, it was a bathing beauty.


*If you are seeing this message it means I am still away, please feel free to share this post with your family and friends, I’d appreciate it. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. kim June 7, 2013 at 3:39 am

    what a lovely series of shots Mia, as always! if you get the chance I’d like to know what settings you used for the brilliant goofy bird image.

    • Mia McPherson June 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      Kim, I shot the goofy gull in aperture priority, auto WB, used my D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm. I kept the ISO at 500 because I wanted enough shutter speed to nearly freeze the very fast action that was going on. Thanks for commenting!

  2. eric c11 June 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    ohhh, very nice actions and moves, it makes the pictures alive, well done mia, bravo =)))

  3. Utahbooklover June 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Yeah, when my girlfriend see a gull anywhere near the Great Salt Lake, she says, “garbage bird” — however, I find them graceful flyers and enjoy seeing them as much as any other bird. Nice series Mia, especially the one twisting its head — that I have never seen. Thanks!

    • Mia McPherson June 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      Utahbooklover, I must really be truly addicted to birds because I find each and every one of them beautiful and fascinating. Thanks much for your comment, I’m glad you like the goofy one!

  4. Susan Stone June 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I just found your blog today, and have enjoyed these photos. I especially like the goofy one. Even though seagulls tend to be a nuisance, they are also beautiful birds if you can look beyond the nuisance factor.

    • Mia McPherson June 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Susan, I am very glad you found my blog, thank you for visiting and for your comments. I especially like the goofy image too.

  5. M. Firpi June 5, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Great post. I think the analogy of the iconic scene of the Titanic is hilarious!

    • Mia McPherson June 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Thanks Maria, I giggle about this image and the iconic scene from the Titanic.

  6. Fern Culhane June 5, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Dave Sparks hits the nail on the head! I know I will be intrigued, amused, awed, or moved to pause and reflect by your pictures and text! Thanks Mia!

    • Mia McPherson June 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Thank you so much Fern.

  7. Bob Bushell June 5, 2013 at 6:22 am


    • Mia McPherson June 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Thank you for your comment Bob.

  8. Beverly Everson June 5, 2013 at 5:51 am

    I love this post!

  9. Dave Sparks June 5, 2013 at 5:18 am

    It takes a discerning eye to envision the beauty that could emerge from a gull bathing in a puddle of water on a dirt road. That partially accounts for the number of avid followers of your blog.

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