Black-headed Gull

Black-headed Gull at Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 27 Sept 2013.

A common gull in the Bristol area during the winter, readily coming into city centres and gardens for food scraps – as we drove out to lunch today, they were diving down amongst the traffic to scavenge stale crusts of bread lying on the road.

And yes, this is a Black-headed Gull even though it doesn’t have a black head – isn’t birding a confusing pastime?  Its in winter (i.e. non-breeding) plumage, and so instead of a dark head it has just that little dark mark behind the eye >>> but even in the breeding season its dark head is brown, not black!

Photographic technique?  Standing at a favourite spot by this lake, a place where I started birdwatching (aka birding) way back in 1967.  And my wife throwing handfuls of bread up into the air, while autofocus and the 70-300 worked their magic.  The larger gulls, the Herrings and Lesser Black-backs, took the food from the ground and the water, but the daintier Black-headeds came in acrobatically, jinking and screaming through the air, to catch the thrown morsels in flight.

Click onto the image to see a larger version in a separate window.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 800 ISO.


About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

25 Responses to ARCHIVE 126 – BLACK-HEADED GULL

  1. bluebrightly says:

    Sounds like fun, and it worked!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, it was one of the few occasions when my wife actively participated in my photography – although she has often been amused by watching people who are watching me, especially in towns, wondering what on earth I’m taking pictures of! A 😀


  2. Sallyann says:

    Nice technique. I used a similar technique at a trout farm, hubby threw the fishfood into the water as I tried to catch the fish with the camera. 🙂


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Hubbies are good like that, aren’t they, as are wifies, and I suppose that, if all else were to fail, we could use our nearests and dearests as the bait … new Life experience for the dearest darlings … good for the character ….. that sort of thing ….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Meanderer says:

    Beautiful capture!


  4. krikitarts says:

    Oh, to fly like a gull–how elegant!


  5. It’s good to have a helper. You can focus on your focusing.
    And I knew if I read on id find out why the head wasn’t black you never fail me 👍😍


  6. lovely capture… gulls seem to a most adaptable bird!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you, Margo! Yes, they are very adaptable – they are essentially birds associated with water, but they can be found far inland around towns, on rubbish dumps, and following the plough out on farmland. They are intelligent opportunists and I love them for that – plus the fact that I grew up alongside them in a seaside town! Adrian


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