Gull Images of 2012

Monday 31 December 2012

This is a collection of my best Gull images of 2012

I've chosen one image of each species, which I consider my best of that species for the year

A total of 18 species of Gull for 2012

Some of the more commoner species like Black-headed & Herring allow for multiple chances, as with the rarer you may only get one chance ..

Audouin's Gull

Quite a pleasing pose, with slight head turn 
Nice wing & tail spread showing detail in both black and whites
1/3200 ~ F 5.6 

Black-headed Gull

Interesting flight pose, nice upturned primary feathers
I like the way the coverts are raised with the reduced air flow over the wing
Nice eye contact, and plenty of detail
1/1600 ~ F 8.0

Bonaparte's Gull
Nice banked pose showing off the underwing detail & tail spread
All i.d.  features showing, nice eye contact and plenty of detail
1/2500 ~ F 6.3

Caspian Gull

Good pose showing both upper, underwing & tail spread
Slight head turn and eye contact
1/4000 ~ F 7.1

Common Gull

Good pose showing underwing detail, soft lighting & eye contact
1/1250 ~ F 4.0

Glaucous Gull

Standard pose, but good light and low angle to diffuse the background
Head turn & eye contact with plenty of detail
1/1600 ~ F 10

Great Black-Backed Gull

Bird in heavy moult which with the wing position and fish adds interest
Lower angle would of been better 
1/2000 ~ F 5.6

Herring Gull

Great flight position, nice wing & tail spread
Good head turn with eye contact
1/2000 ~ F 6.3

Iceland Gull

Nice interesting flight pose, nice light through the feathers
Good background 
1/2500 ~ F 4.5


Good pose, plenty of detail in all the feathers both black & white
Eye contact and clean background
1/2000 ~ F 8.0

Kumlien's Gull

Quite a pleasing image, bird against the dark background works well
Nice pose hanging in the wind with slight upturned primaries
Water droplets add interest 
Would of liked some separation of the bill against the background
1/4000 ~ F 5.6

Lesser Black-Backed Gull

Great flight pose, nice head turn with eye contact
Plenty of detail in the grey upper parts
1/4000 ~ F 5.6

Little Gull

Nice showing the underwing in this flight pose
A must do better species for the future
1/2500 ~ F 5.6

Mediterranean Gull

Good pose with wing & tail spread, reduced airflow lifting feathers
Nice head angle showing the aggression
1/4000 ~ F 5.6

Pallas's Gull

Typical angle that shows the underwing off well
1/1600 ~ F 6.3

Ring-Billed Gull

Good flight position which shows of the wing feathers in nice light
The background of diffused grass works well
1/3200 ~ F 5.6

Sabine's Gull

Not the best pose, but upper & underwing with eye contact
1/5000 ~ F 5.6

Yellow-legged Gull

Good pose showing plenty of detail in the underwing
1/4000 ~ F 5.6

A few species that i would like to improve on ... 
All of them !!

Little Gull which isn't easy.

Glaucous Gull 3rd. cy flight images.

And would be great to add the stunning
White-eyed Gull !!


2012 Summary !!!

Sunday 30 December 2012

Another totally crazy year ...

Firstly 2012 has been amazing for so many reasons, Trips, Birds & Rain but most importantly images !!
That's what its all about images, Photographing birds, trying to capture artistic, pleasing shots of the chosen subject as best you can ...

This year has been difficult at times, mainly weather related, rain, grey cloud and the general lack of birds with many weekends resulting in no images.

Some months were laden with images to choose from and others well, scraping the barrel springs to mind !!

This is going to be extremely tough to choose but I'm going to start with ...

"Image of the Month"


Caspian Gull ~ Dungeness, Kent


Great Northern Diver ~ Galway, Ireland

Meadow Pipit ~ North Pennines, County Durham


Cuckoo ~ Two Tree Island, Essex


Kentish Plover ~ Albufereta, Majorca


Puffin ~ Farne Islands


Green Woodpecker ~ Elmley, Kent


Baird's Sandpiper ~ West Angle Bay, Pembrokeshire


Crested Tit ~ Loch Garten, Scotland


Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll ~ Norwick, Unst


Bonaparte's Gull ~ Dawlish Warren, Devon

Goosander ~ Billericay, Essex

In total 209 species photographed this year in the Western Palearctic.

British Year List for 2012 was 261 species.

Best Trip
Has to be our Ireland Trip in February for gull's .. The 3 of us birded from dawn till dusk at great locations and  resulted in some brilliant birds !!
Gulltastic trip and a return is planned !!

Worst Trip
For me sadly i'm going to have to give it to the Shetlands Trip, this was all weather dependant and it just didn't happen for the 2nd week and with no birds to photograph it made it hard work .. And to top it off the seasickness tablets didn't work on the way back !!

Best for Images
Has to be the Romania trip with Sakertours plenty of species all at touching distance !!
Superb !!

Luckiest Moment
So many but surely the Baird's Sandpiper at West Angle Bay, Pembrokeshire arrived at first light and had a 8 hr wait then Kev picked it up on call as it flew in ... we had it virtually to ourselves !!

Unluckiest  Moment
Stupidly waiting two days to go see the Cream-Coloured Courser, then Me & Kev drive half way there only to get news it had flown !!

Bird of the Year
Now with so many great birds seen this year it should of been hard to choose, but a day trip to the Pyrennes, Spain with Rachel & Aaron gave good views of Lammergeier...

Plans for 2013

Jan/Feb .. Ireland for Nearctic Gull's
March .. Morocco ~ BOOKED
Apr/May .. Lesvos ~ BOOKED
June .. Mull, Spain or Eygpt be nice ..
September .. Cape Verde ??

With a few long weekends,
You can never have enough trips !!

Target Species for 2013

Well  just about any species that let's you get close enough !! 

Thanks to all who take the time to talk, comment and give out info ...

" My Image of the Year 2012 "

Little Gull ~ Dungeness, Kent - 29.12.12

Saturday 29 December 2012

With strong winds and the faintest glimmer of some brighter spells, we headed for Dungeness.

Plenty of birds moving through, 1000's of Auk's & Kittiwake with fewer Gannets and Red-throated Diver.

My attention was with Little Gull's in total appox 2 dozen birds and all just a bit to distant ...

Little Gull

A species that is far from easy ..

Herring Gull - Long Call ~ Dungeness, Kent - 23.12.12

Monday 24 December 2012

" The Long Call "

Starting from a lowered head position,
calling until head is in the raised position.

Herring Gull ~ ad

Caspian Gull - 2nd. W ~ Jolly Farmers, Crayford - 22.12.12

Saturday 22 December 2012

I made 3 visits to The Jolly Farmers today, not much on the first, 1 ad YLG on the 2nd and on the 3rd ...

3. ad YLG's with 2. 1st

I had to be home for 4, and leaving Viridor to have a final scan of the gull's on the waste ground this beast showed itself ... Then flew towards Viridor.

Caspian Gull ~ 2nd. W

That lived the day up !!
Out came the camera ....

125 sec @ F4 in terrible light ..

Second-Winter ... has white head with markings on hindneck, white underparts and underwing. Mantle, scapulars and some upperwing coverts especially median coverts grey, scapulars often with dark shaft streaks broadening towards the tip.
Secondaries, primary coverts and usually outer coverts dark centred.
Inner primaries paler against blackish wing tip often as here with white mirror on P10.
Black tail bar narrow and washed out.
Bill with dark bar and pale tip.
Legs, long and slender with visible longer tibia.

Hope it's still there tomorrow.

Yellow-legged Gull - ~ Jolly Farmers, Crayford - 18.12.12

Thursday 20 December 2012

The waste ground along side The Jolly Farmers pub, is a great site for gulls.
An afternoon visit produced this bird ...

Yellow-legged Gull ~

Mantle and scapulars replaced for 2nd gen

Boldly marked scapulars

Herring Gull - 1st.W ~ Jolly Farmers, Crayford - 16.12.12

Tuesday 18 December 2012

A quick look in at the gulls on the way home as the light was fading fast.
The clean white heads of michahellis stand out well from the streaky heads of the other gulls in Aut/Winter, and in the field that's exactly what this bird seemed to be ...
Once home and studying the bird things just don't look right, covert & tertial markings !!

So the experts were called in ...

Herring Gull ~ 1st.W 


So what is it ??

1st. Cy. Herring Gull