It was a very windy afternoon and once we were on our way I wasn't really sure how good the birding would be because of the wind, but on we went.
I had been sitting in one area for awhile. There was a small group of Canada Geese, a couple of Killdeer, and lots and lots of gulls. The gulls were mainly in the air, but there were some bobbing on the lake. I had the scope on the window mount to check out the ones on the lake. I was alternately looking through that and through the binoculars at the ones in the air hoping to find a Sabine's Gull. The reports on the Nebraska birdline have been of juveniles. I decided to move on and as I flipped a u-turn in the parking lot I saw a gull walking along. At first I thought I had my Sabine's, but alas it was not to be!
I think it is either a Herring or Ring-billed Gull.
The gull continued to walk for quite a stretch, which I thought was a bit strange. After I got a few photos, I studied it through first the binoculars and then the scope. I determined it wasn't a Sabine's. Eventually it mixed with some other gulls that had just landed on the shoreline near the Canada Geese. All of a sudden the geese and other gulls scattered and my gull of interest was left by him/herself. About that time the dawg decided she wanted a drink of water, so my attention was diverted briefly. When I looked back, it looked,to the bare eye, like the bird was trying to fly, but having difficulty getting out of the shallow water. When I looked through the scope I realized that I was witnessing a murder! A Peregrine Falcon had the gull in its clutches and the gull was probably already a goner by the time I looked through the scope.
I am not usually a fan of the survival of the fittest thing. But I sat there absolutely mesmerized watching through the scope. Kind of gruesome, but the wind was blowing the feathers as the falcon plucked them. I found it interesting that the geese that had scattered, wandered back near the falcon with it's meal and so did the Killdeer. I guess once you are out of danger there's no need to be shy.