Local Heart, Global Soul

March 17, 2017

Sometimes You Have To Get Lucky!

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

Last year whilst in Texel for the Easter long weekend, I set up the garden chairs and table close to the window.

The furniture started a decent distance away from the window but every time we were due to go out, I would get Himself to edge it a little closer to the window.

I then spread out a liberal amount of bird seed and by Easter Sunday the table and chairs had moved at least two metres using our stealth method.

My camera resumed it’s hiding place behind the curtains with clothes pegs keeping the gaps to a minimum.  Luckily the early morning sun had not yet reached the glass so this helped since the window glass was between  my lens and the birds.

On this occasion the visitor was a sea gull, quickly dominating the table and scaring off all of the smaller birds. The lens could not be moved because otherwise the curtains would move: so I had to wait until my quarry passed into the field of view that the camera was set to. To my amazement, this first ever experiment was a success!

Of course there were many images where the gull moved and only a wing tip or the top of his head made it into the image, but a few decent close ups made it into my best yet file of bird photographs.

Suddenly, the daughter of our friend was awake and clambering down the stairs. Despite Himself’s best efforts to urge quietness he was too late and so my shutter caught the moment when the gull startled and swooped downwards before gliding out of sight over the lawn, at first, part of this maneuver almost looking like he was falling off the table.  Minutes later the rest of the household emerged for breakfast and with all the noise, movement and the curtains being drawn, the sea gull did not return. I’m still delighted with my efforts… sometimes you have to get lucky!

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

I learn that birds have tongues!

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

Using his tongue to pick up the morsel…

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

It looks like he has his foot stuck but he swooped away in a smooth movement so I think the camera just caught these two nanoseconds…

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

2 Comments »

  1. You really did get lucky. Those pictures are great!! Once, when we went back to Scotland on holiday we bought the little one a donut and a sea gull swept down and stole it right out of her hand!! So it doesn’t surprise me that your gull frightened the smaller birds away!!

    Comment by sarsm — March 17, 2017 @ 9:49 am | Reply

    • Gulls can be very sneaky and not just that, but incredibly bold. I’m quite sure it was no accident that it was the little one who was the target of the raid, they pick their “quarry” carefully I think. They are also amazing opportunists, on the beach here they will really fight other birds for scraps of food, stolen or discarded. One of the main reasons that our rubbish bag collections stopped (and we now have local underground bins where we take a bag whenever it is full, is that the Gulls would follow the various collection days all over the city, and gather in gangs of birds to rip open the rubbish bags. They were looking for food of course but would scatter the contents of the bag everywhere in the process. It wasn’t uncommon to have a third of the bags in some streets ripped open, they just went from one bag to another, working in a large group.. sometimes 30 or so birds. They weren’t even scared of people who tried to scare them away.

      Comment by kiwidutch — March 23, 2017 @ 1:51 pm | Reply


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