Bonaparte's Gull at 12-13 inches in length is the smallest gull (photo above). Both gulls breed in Alaska and Northern Canada and winter along the west coast. A fascinating aspect of the Mew Gull (photo below) is that it is the only gull that nests in trees. And you will never guess who Bonaparte's Gulls are named after - Napoleon's brother, Charles Lucien Bonaparte who was a leading ornithologist in the 1800's.
When trying to ID the Bonaparte's Gull and the Mew Gull keep in mind they are about 1/2 the size of a common Western Gull and are often alone or on the edge of a group of Gulls.
Other beach birds - Feeding in the breaking surf was a mixed flock of Surf Scoter, female Bufflehead, and Eared Grebe. Farther out was a flock of Western Grebe. After a chilly hour of birding the beach it was time for a cup of tea.