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

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
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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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