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Soaring Herring Gull

Soaring Herring Gull
Photo Information
Copyright: Andy Cole (flagman) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 351 W: 44 N: 607] (2408)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-08-02
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Canon 70-200 f/4L, Hoya Super HMC Pro1 67mm Sky1B
Exposure: f/8, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-08-12 11:12
Viewed: 4099
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is a Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus) flying over the Goodrington sands beach, Paignton, Devon.

Other members who have seen my photos/critique will probably know that I've been trying to get a decent 'flying bird' shot for some time. I realised a while ago that things are a lot easier if the 'target' is slow moving and very large. Well, a herring gull is the perfect 'practice bird'.
They are very easy to spot because they are at least twice the size of any other gulls. Even a juvenile that has just fledged is about the size of an adult mallard duck.

Photo conditions: Dry, sunny, late afternoon. Manual exposure mode, RAW, handheld.

General info about the Herring Gull:
This familiar gull can be distinguished from other gulls by its large size and grey upperparts, which earn it the alternative names of 'silver back' and 'silvery gull'. During summer, adults have white heads, but in autumn they become streaked with brown. They have bright yellow bills with a red tip, and pink legs. Juveniles are greyish-brown; the grey upperparts do not develop until after the second winter. A number of vocalisations are produced, including the well-known raucous 'laughing' call.

The herring gull has a complex distribution throughout the northern hemisphere, and consists of a number of subspecies. Main areas of population are north-west Europe, eastern Arctic Russia and North America. The population occurring in Britain, Ireland, France and Iceland belong to the subspecies Larus argentatus argenteus. Herring gulls breed around most of Britain's coasts; they are absent from some areas of eastern England, but are widespread inland during the winter.

This versatile species breeds in a range of habitats, including cliffs, beaches, small islands, inland sites and even buildings. They also exploit rubbish dumps, particularly during winter.

The herring gull is a supreme opportunist and scavenger, feeding on discarded fish offal, refuse, bird chicks, mammals, eggs, worms and other invertebrates. It breeds in colonies and the nest is usually an untidy heap of grass, seaweed and other vegetation. Two to six eggs, which are variable in colour and patterning, are laid after April; incubation, which is carried out largely by the female, takes between 25 and 27 days. Both parents share paternal care of the downy chicks, which fledge after around 30 days.

liquidsunshine, electra, wallhalla15, PDP, sandpiper2 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Good to see some detail in the whites there. Image is clear and sharp, colours are good, exposure is good...

well worth a smiley

Very well captured Andy,
Crystal clear detail and nicely exposed. Nice glimmer in the eye and what a fantastic blue sky.
This one has a tatty right wing, but still manages to look very graceful.
Thanks for posting, have a great weekend.

wonderful bird in flight shot Andy. great blue sky as the bg gives it an extra punch as well. TFS!

Hi Andy,

this is an exellent sharp shot of a gull. I like it. Wonderful details(Eyes!). Well done.

Andy, beautiful colors and a great pose, beautiful picture congratulations. TFS

Hello Andy!
fantastic shot! I love this composition with superb bird on the clear blue sky!
Good job!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-08-12 18:40]

Hi Andy, very nice shot. Well done on the capture and the exposure. Maybe a little OE on the head and back but not too bad, always difficuly on white birds in the sun, especially in flight. I think you did a very good job, well done.

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2005-08-12 23:52]

Excellent capture!
Very good details and colour.

The gull might be big to practice on, but you still need to get it right. Fortunately, you've done a good job here. The wings are captured at just the right moment and the bill and eye are pin-sharp in focus. Plumage is well exposed and good neutral background.
Overall an excellent in-flight shot.

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