Sunday, 30 November 2014

Gulls in Flight at Walpole Park, Gosport

This morning a team of us went to Walpole Park in the hope of catching some Black-headed Gulls. From my previous posts about the site you may have gathered that the gulls there are very tame, and so we have decided to try and catch and colour-ring some birds. Rather than setting up our own scheme, we are piggy-backing of another scheme in Hampshire for Black-headed Gulls, but also have a handful of Mediterranean and Common Gull colour rings, just in case we manage to catch any of them. Today we failed to catch any gulls, although a Herring Gull toyed with us for a while, before flying off. We did however ring three Mute Swans, a ringing tick for each of the three trainees present.

Whilst hanging around at the site I decided to have another play with my new camera, and in particular try it out on birds in flight. When using my camera I tend to use it on manual and use auto ISO. For all of the images below I used 1/500th of a second shutter speed and an aperture of 5.6, wide open on my Canon 400 f5.6. This morning it was overcast and dull and the camera was selecting an ISO of between 200 and 800. There were four species of gull present, but as I mentioned earlier the Herring Gull was hanging around by the net and so I didn't get a chance to photograph that one; the others were Common Gull, Black-headed Gull and of course the ever present Ring-billed Gull.

Ring-billed Gull
This adult winter Ring-billed Gull has always been very approachable, so much so that I don't think I have taken many flight shots of it. The series of shots below shows very clearly the small white window in the black wing tip, which is one of the ID features.

I know, not a flight shot but thought I would include it anyway, this must be the most photographed Ring-billed Gull in the country.

Common Gull
Another adult winter bird, note the size of the white window on this bird, and how much larger it is than the Ring-billed it is.

Black-headed Gull
The images below are all again adult winter birds, hopefully I will have some pictures of these in the hand soon.

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