On a recent beach walk I spotted pelicans, terns, gulls and sea lions feeding in the shallows just beyond the surfline. For a while I was entertained by a tern as it actively dodged a pursuing gull. The gull did a great job of keeping up with the tern’s aerobatic maneuvers. Was this a game of chase or something more nefarious?
There were numerous loud groups of terns flying N/NW yesterday morning past the Monterey Coast Guard Pier. Do you know which kind they are?
I wish I could be definitive. I find terns tough to ID. I’ve seen both Caspian terns and Elegant terns. The black crown of the Caspian goes all the way to the bill and the bill is more red than orange; the black crown of the nonbreeding Elegant stops short of the bill and the bill is more orange than red. I think the noisy squeaky-gate calling birds we’ve both seen around the Coast Guard pier/breakwater are Elegant terns.