March 31, 2014 … gulls just want to have fun*

Something keeps drawing me back to the South Coast.

Black-backed gulls

All perfectly weather-cocked into the breeze

Sadly, my hopes are not always fulfilled. I arrived in Owhiro Bay yesterday and saw hundreds of Black-backed gulls (Larus dominicanus). It seems to be a nursery area for this particular type of gull.  As I drove into the Bay area, I noticed a large portion of the flock bobbing in formation out on the water.

The nursery

Washing in fresh water

Parking the car, I got the long lens out and in my best stealth mode crept closer. From the little bridge across the Owhiro Stream, I got a view down into the part of the nursery where many juveniles were enjoying a good splash in the only unpiped stream on the South Coast of Wellington.

On the beach

A wider but closer view of the nursery

One careful step after another, and trying to impersonate a non-threatening lamp-post, I got closer to the birds on the shore.

The flock takes flight

Blind panic

Disaster! One step too many, and to my dismay the flock took flight. I am dismayed because no birder worth his or her salt will ever deliberately cause the birds to fly from a place where they should be safe. On the other hand, since they were airborne, I had to take the shot (in fact, many shots). It was quite a spectacle.

A few gulls stayed

Where did everybody go? What’s happening

When the noise stopped there were a few birds left on the beach. I try not to anthropomorphize too much, but I had to wonder whether they were sneering at the panic-stricken flight of the others, or were they perhaps short-sighted, hard of hearing or simply unaware of what was going on.

Something else tomorrow.

* with apologies to Rober Hazard and Cyndi Lauper



About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
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One Response to March 31, 2014 … gulls just want to have fun*

  1. Definitely quite a sight!

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