Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Pacific Gulls at Ricketts Point

As I have noted previously I grew up in Beaumaris and spent a lot of time on the beaches at and around Ricketts Point. I was close-by late this afternoon after meetings in Melbourne so took the opportunity to avoid peak hour traffic and check out the old stamping ground. There were at least 50 Pacific Gulls on the shore between the point and the yacht club--more than I have ever seen there before--including a range of ages (just missing  4th year birds), so I decided to spend some time trying to capture a few portraits. The sky was darkening quickly with rain storms crossing the bay from the south-west, which made for some interesting low-light photography. All these shots were taken at 1/200th sec or slower.

Pacific Gull (adult), Ricketts Point Beaumaris
Pacific Gull (3rd year immature), Ricketts Point Beaumaris
Pacific Gull (2nd year immature), Ricketts Point Beaumaris
Pacific Gull (1st year immature), Ricketts Point Beaumaris

Feeding attempts were being made on some dubious morsels...this first year immature spent a long time contemplating the remains of a cuttlefish

Pacific Gull (1st year immature), Ricketts Point Beaumaris

...apparently 2nd year birds are not any smarter as this one tried for several minutes to work out (unsuccessfully) how to swallow a tennis ball carcass

Pacific Gull (2nd year immature), Ricketts Point Beaumaris

There were also good opportunities for interesting flight shots (low light always makes it a challenge but sometimes the results are quite pleasing)

Pacific Gull (2nd year immature), Ricketts Point Beaumaris

...if not downright humourous

Pacific Gull (1st year immature), Ricketts Point Beaumaris

A pair of Australian Pelicans eventually broke up the party 

Australian Pelican, Pacific Gull, Silver Gull, Ricketts Point Beaumaris

so I headed back to the point to get a shot or two of the sun setting

Ricketts Point, Beaumaris

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