Nature School Game Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Nature School For Teachers - Fall 2020 Launch! visit nature school



Some specie of sandpiper and some specie of gull.


This beach had warnings about the oil spill. There were also men walking along the beach looking for tar or any suspicious dead animals. The water is green with some sort of algae or seaweed that had been pushed up against the shore and kept there by a sandbar off shore. The water itself seemed clean, and once you got past the algae it was clear enough for goggles to be useful.

1 Species ID Suggestions


Sign in to suggest organism ID


Saint Shrike
Saint Shrike 9 years ago

To be specific, it's probably a non-breeding adult laughing gull (Larus atricilla). Laughing Gulls seem to be one of the more common gull species along the beaches of North Florida (pan handle) and Alabama.
I'm planning on saving that for another picture though.

Saint Shrike
Saint Shrike 9 years ago

@ dylanmkiley,
Well obviously one of the birds is a Gull, however just plain gull discribes a large group of birds. I don't usually bother with identifying them because the immatures look all kinda a like and many of them are distinguished only by slight differences in coloring. It's a pain in the rear. I'm actually more interested in the Sandpiper.

Saint Shrike
Saint Shrike 9 years ago

Well, algae blooms are not uncommon in the gulf. The rivers bring in plenty of silt, chemical fertilizers, animal manure, and what not. I do partially think the great concetration of it has to do with the sand bar that I swam to. When I first saw it, I thought it might have to do with the oil spill (oh no, we won't be able to swim... how miserable!)
Actually, the oil spill could affect algae blooms in that perhaps it killed off some of the algae's main consumers. I'm really not sure though.

TrevorStaker 9 years ago

And for the record, I didn't really consider petroleum to be a nutrient. :)

TrevorStaker 9 years ago

Algae blooms are common in freshwater systems where an influx of nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, occur. Could something similar have happened down there?

Saint Shrike
Spotted by
Saint Shrike

Destin, Florida, USA

Spotted on Aug 1, 2010
Submitted on Feb 23, 2011

Spotted for Mission

Nearby Spottings

Myrtle Warbler Osprey Eastern Gray Squirrel Common Bottlenose Dolphin