Gulls and Lenses

I like this one's pink feet.I was in Bemus Point the day before Thanksgiving.  It was another gray day… threatening rain, but I wanted to practice more with the lens I had borrowed from Norm.  Took 100 photos … only saved 3… not sure those were worth saving.  But hey…  Gotta document my progress during the learning curve, right?

I don’t know my gulls at all.  Gulls are hard because they change so much from juvenile to adulthood.  To be honest, I went over to the Cornell website for a few moments, but then decided I didn’t care enough about what species they were or how old they were.  (If it were April or May and I was getting ready for Birdathon, then I might care.  Today, I only care about how to take better pictures with this lens!)

The gulls were a blast to watch, so comical in their preening, so graceful in their flight.  None of my photos were as crisply focused as I would like.  It’s a manual focus lens.  I was using a monopod, which helped.  A tripod with remote shutter would have been better (hint to Santa).  While the temperature was just about perfect – high 50s – a little less cloud cover might have helped, too (hint to weatherman).

Probably a first year something or other...   Probably a full grown adult...

If you know any of the species, please enlighten us!  Thanks!

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4 thoughts on “Gulls and Lenses

  1. Hi Jennifer – I’d love to know the ID on those birds, too. Right now, I would only make a guess that the first bird looks like a Herring Gull – they have pinkish legs and would be seen in your area. The third picture, I think, is a Ring-billed gull. And your second picture – I agree with you – it must be a first year gull – which one? I have no clue! ;o)

  2. I think Mary’s right – the first looks like a Herring Gull. The black tail means its a 3rd-year or adult bird (if it had white crescents in the tail it’d be an adult, but it’s hard to see if it does or not in this photo). Pink legs, light eye, and medium-gray mantle all look good for Herring Gull. I’d probably write it off as a Western Gull if I saw it at home, but those are, I understand, quite rare in NY, an Herring Gulls are common on the East Coast. So I’ve read anyways – I’ve never seen one myself!

    The second is a sub-adult gull.

    The third is an adult Ring-billed Gull. The black stripe near the tip of the bill pretty much cinches it, and the yellow legs, medium gray mantle, light eye, and streaked nape confirm it.

    I’m glad you’re having fun w/your new lens – get thee a tripod and I’m sure you’ll get sharper results. Hand-holding a 500mm lens that doesn’t have autofocus, let alone a stabilizer, isn’t something I’d try! Your results are quite good, especially since it wasn’t a bright sunny day!

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