A young Ring Billed Gull
The Mighty Saint Lawrence River, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
October 26, 2008
This closeup was taken using the very cunning “stealth mode” technique.
I spotted the bird on the railing of the little observation boardwalk that juts out into the river and decided to approach very slowly, quietly humming “To all the gulls I’ve loved before”. It turned its head, gave me the once over, decided I was a relatively harmless eccentric, and continued staring into space. Not too far off the mark, either. A most perceptive bird.
A couple of shots taken, then I moved in a little closer, this time whistling “Good morning, little school gull”.This seemed to stir up a little interest, so I stopped, waited a bit and took a couple more.
Still not much reaction, so a couple more steps closer. The tune this time was “Young gull, get into my art”. A sideways glance, but, as of now, no signs of alarm. Another shot.
Finally, I was able to get within a few feet by whispering “Who’s a pretty gull, then? Would you like to be in a movie? The Lord of the Ring Bills? You could be Gullum.” Well, it seemed to believe me because it turned and gave me this lovely profile.
“And,” you may ask, “why did it believe you?”
Well, it’s because they’re so very gullible…
Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 28 to 300 at 300 mm
iso 100, multi-pattern metering, F6.3, 1/250 second