Black-headed Gull: Serendipitous Surfing
Just when I'd given up on the gulls...
I visited Eagle Pond this morning to check on the Goosle gosling progress; Mrs. Goosle was grazing again! I learned my lesson on Monday, so didn't take my eyes off her: she grazed ravenously for about 5 minutes (filling her crop), then goose-stepped purposefully over to the edge of the pond to drink and have a quick wash, then she flew back to the island (i.e. same routine as on Monday). After looking around for a few seconds, she trotted up to the tree, climbed up its (very tilted) trunk to where it splits, then disappeared in a protected cleft out of sight of the pond's edges. What a brilliant nesting site! No wonder the Goosles guard Eagle Pond so determinedly!
The light was very poor this morning so my pictures were rather flat... Because of that, I visited Mount Pond on my way to meeting a friend in the late afternoon: the cloud was thick and the light was still very poor, but there was a small family feeding the birds a couple of pieces of bread, so I was hopeful of getting at least an OK birdy blip. Hum, the children were throwing the bread; they were throwing it straight into the water so the gulls weren't wheeling, and the water there was scummy since the wind had blown all the muck into that particular corner. MEH. It wasn't looking good... The family left, and then my moment came: the gulls started hovering and surfing on the strong wind low above the water's edge to try to grab the last bits of bread. I managed to catch this juvenile crisply as spot metering exposed for its bright plumage rather than the dark scene generally.
p.s. I also got a picture (amusing, but not the best...) of two gulls crashing into each other: one mature gull was taking off from its perch, and this juvenile tried to land in the same spot too soon, so they collided quite heavily. These gulls bicker a lot and fly very close to each other, but it is definitely the first time that I've noticed a proper (unintentional) collision!