I took a stroll past Quidi Vidi Lake on my way out of town today. It’s a measure of how crazy winter is driving me that I stopped to take pictures of seagulls. The lake has just frozen over on the western end (the eastern end has been frozen for some time) and the ice, having caught last night’s rain, makes a neat mirror. Quidi Vidi is one of the best places for gull-watching, as there are a lot of them there of all sorts and species and they are pretty tame (read: they’ll attack you if you carry a sandwich) because people feed them.
Thanks to that 55-200mm lens that John bought me a while ago (thanks again, John!), I can actually shoot pictures of birds in the middle of the pond. In fact, the lens is strong enough to act as a monocular, letting me spot details that my eyes alone can’t. Like this gull, attempting a landing smack on top of an unsuspecting black-backed gull. Black-backeds are BIG and sometimes MEAN. It did not go well.
After watching seagulls (who are quite lovely, when they’re not ripping open your garbage), I headed off to harass the ducks. I figure if they can dive-bomb me in search of food, I can bug the heck out of them in search of photos. This Northern Pintail duck was not particularly bothered by my presence.
I don’t usually photograph mallards anymore, as they’re a dime a dozen around here, but this one was enormous and his hood was so perfectly iridescent, contrasting beautifully with his beak, that I couldn’t resist.
This gull watched me the whole time I was shooting ducks. I’m not sure which gull it is. It might be a Kumlien’s Gull. Or possibly a juvenile of some sort. Any thoughts?
And finally there was my old friend (or foe, really), the Greylag Goose, who chased me 150m from the supermarket to the Lake one day as I was running along, minding my own business. I took a couple of shots of him staring at me. Maybe he was wondering the same things as I; “How tasty is it, precious?” In any event, I was hoping he’d open his wings. He finally did, when I was looking elsewhere and had the camera at full zoom, so I couldn’t quite fit him all in and hadn’t time to zoom out before he folded up his wings, shook his head at me as if to say, “You snooze, you lose,” and then swam away.