I have to admit I'm not a big fan of gulls. Not in the sense that I don't like them but that I just don't find them overly interesting to photography. That being said there are a few gulls that could and can get my attention at times..one being the Black Headed Gull. We have a descent number of these that show up during the end of fall and into/through the winter. They are much smaller then the more common gulls here on the island and a challenge to get close views. Into the heart of winter you will often find a number of them showing up at Quidi Vidi lake where they will enjoy a nice bath in the remaining open water. That has been the only time I've been able to get close enough to photograph them...well my luck changed over the weekend...
Upon my arrival to Terrenceville this past weekend. I noticed a small gull hanging out along the edge of a pond with a group of ducks. I've seen Black Headed Gulls here before but I've never had any luck approaching them since the area is so open and nothing to conceal my approach. This little guy appeared to be very calm as I slowly rolled up in my vehicle. He was sitting in the warmth of the setting sun along the shoreline as I slowly got out of my CR-V. Using the door as my cover I laid on my belly to grab a few frames before he took off..so I thought
To my surprise it was comfortable with my presence and proceeded to walk down to the water.
For the next two days I spent a few short session with this little guy(my sessions were cut short because of rain and very dull lighting conditions).
What made these session special to me were the reflecting colors in the water. The surrounding vegetation created the perfect Autumn colors. On my second session with the Black Headed Gull it became very comfortable with my presence and allowed me some full frame opportunities.
It would often get startled by ATVs that passed by the pond (curious locals wondering what the crazy guy with the odd looking "gun" is doing lol) and take flight providing me some nice inflight ops.
All in all I had a great time with the Black Headed Gull and it reminded me that in the proper setting even gulls can look beautiful and provide wonderful photo opportunities. I look forward to seeing more of them this coming winter and more importantly the last few weeks of March when if I'm lucky I can get another opportunity to photography one in its breeding plumage with full black head before migration.
Here is a shot I took last year in March of one with a black head and the moment only lasted a few seconds.