Herring Gull

Larus argentatus

Herring Gull Larus argentatus

These are the blighters that will swoop down and steal your ice cream or fish and chips whilst on the beach or the seafront. A few years ago I was sitting on a pebble beach and was about to tuck into a nice custard tart when one dive bombed me from behind and snatched the lot from my grasp in its beak.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus

This one landed on the roof just outside my hotel window. When I was a young lad I only used to see these beside the seaside, but now they fly overhead and have even landed on my garage roof here in the West Midlands where I am completely landlocked. Many have adapted well to a life inland, living off the rubbish we leave in our wake.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus

Yes despite their adaptability they are on the RSPB Red Status list here due to a moderate decline in numbers over the last 25 years. I have to say I do have a soft spot for them, despite the reputation they get sometimes. Yes they are scavengers and will virtually eat anything, and will attack small birds and other animals, yet their piercing cries and their streamlined forms as they soar aloft in the high blue yonder is alway quite something to experience.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus


Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), West Shore, Llandudno, Wales.

Airborn #2

More photographs of Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) sailing overhead as they take to the air currents above the coast cliffs.

Photographs taken of Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) July 2016, East Cliff, Bournemouth, Dorset. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.

Airborn

On the coast, I enjoyed a couple of hours watching and photographing Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), floating on air currents along the top of the cliffs. This one was a juvenille, which began to turn, and came quite low overhead.

This type of photography can be quite a challenge, but with some practise you can master panning, following the subject. You have to try to keep your focus, of course, and you have to watch you don’t follow the gull directly into the glare of the sun. I took over 300 photographs in this session, and hoped some came out reasonably well, at least.

Photographs taken of Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) July 2016, East Cliff, Bournemouth, Dorset. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.