Gull yawning; St Ives, Cornwall; 20 Oct 2016.

This is most probably a Herring Gull.  The brown speckling on its plumage shows it to be a young bird, probably now just about to enter its first winter – it hatched from its egg this summer.

It was perched on the wall of the West Pier at St Ives, “loafing” as birdwatchers say.  Which means that it had had some food, that it wasn’t desperately hungry, so that it was just hanging around – while still no doubt keeping an eye out for any chance meal that might present itself.

I leant against the wall and, very gradually, inched my way towards it, keeping silent, compact and low.  It shuffled a little, it wasn’t quite sure about me (sensible bird!), but then it relaxed, and I started gradually capturing images.  I could have wished that the D800’s shutter was quieter but, on the plus side, its reliable autofocus did its usual excellent job, and I was able to concentrate on the images, rather than on whether they were sharp or not.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO.


About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

11 Responses to ARCHIVE 438 – YOUNG GULL, YAWNING

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    Now that is an awesome shot!


  2. krikitarts says:

    The stuff of nightmares–for a herring!


  3. The yawn is infectious.


  4. bluebrightly says:

    You’re sure it was yawning? 🙂 I mean, I have to ask. How do we know? Sorry I’m being difficult, but I can’t help wonder if our word, “yawn” adequately describes what that youngster was doing. Whatever the case, I love the photo!!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      No you’re not being difficult, and you are raising an interesting point >>> because I read years ago that the Ostrich is the only bird that indulges in “real” yawning, which I imagine may be something to do with clearing excess CO2 from the lungs, getting more O2 in etc. So maybe you’re quire right, that this bird was not yawning in the true sense. 🙂


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