Greater Irish Gull, Dublin

OK, I made up that name.  Identifying gulls is neither my skill nor my favourite pastime.

As we wandered the streets of Dublin for a few hours, we happened on a park with a pond.  I watched several streaky brown gulls perform a nifty manoeuvre, jumping from a sitting position on the water to dive beak first into the water.  Kinda like this . . .

Fuzzy phot of gull diving beak first into a pondHaving seen it, of course I wanted a good (i.e. sharp) photo of it, but that was not to be.  These were the best I got of that trick.  In both cases I was a bit late to need, not to mention the guy in front, an oblivious photo-bomber.

Gulls diving headfirst into pondSnapping away, I also got some photos with wings flared — another preoccupation of mine.  Several of these were at the limits of my zoom lens, resulting in low-resolution photos when cropped, but I love them all.  Gulls are not typically elegant birds — by plumage or by voice — but in action they’re beautiful.    And like the duffer whose occasional par or birdie (haha) sustains them through endless bogeys, I find that my near-ish misses keep me in the hunt.

7-photo collage of gulls flaring their wings

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4 Comments

  1. Jim Taylor

    Comment, the box says. Not comments, plural. I don’t care — I have three comments.
    First: when Joan and I left the Wet (deliberate) Coast for Toronto, the cry of a seagull on The Beachcombers TV series opened up a huge ache somewhere inside me. Seagulls became the symbol of something I felt I had lost.
    Second: now that I have gotten re-acquainted with seagulls, I wonder why I valued them. They are noisy, quarrelsome, garbage-eaters.
    Third: when we lived in Prince Rupert, we put a small platform bird feeder outside the dining area window of our apartment. We didn’t get many other birds, but we did get one seagull, with a red dot on his beak, whom we called Charlie. I realized, watching him at close range, that he was big. And ruthless. And could do a lot of damage with that beak, if he chose to. We got familiar with Charlie, but never friendly.
    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim T – Gulls are impressive birds, for sure. Not attractive as it’s usually understood – although maybe Laurna’s design principle of finding beauty in anything that’s well-suited to its intended function can apply here, as well.

  2. Marilyn Smith

    For some reason, Isabel, Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 came to my mind as I looked at these photos…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKaXF8FrS_g — the swooping, the diving, the swimming, the wingercizing, the seeming disinterest of the other birds floating on the water waiting for an opportune moment for grabbing a catch — the ripples, the spray, the sounds, the smells, all in shades of brown and green and gray and white… but wait, Wordsworth is calling!

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Marilyn – I envy you your knowledge that allows you to link a piece of music to a set of images. I might be able to do that with the popular music of my youth, but am pretty sure it wouldn’t occur to me!

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