21 May 2010

Nipper, the red-billed gull

Hope you're doing well, Nipper

When we first saw him we thought his wing was broken. But he could fly reasonably well and our hopes rose. I have no idea why we decided to call him Nipper — perhaps it's that innate desire to name or to anthropomorphise — but name him we did. Actually, I say “him” but we have no idea whether Nipper’s he or she: the sexes are indistinguishable (to us) in tarapunga (red-billed gulls; Larus novaehollandiae scopulinus). Still, they manage to work it out, which is all that matters.
Admittedly a pretty standard close-up portrait. 




[7 February 2010; Canon 20D, 300 mm f4 L, ISO 400, 1/3200 at f8]

All content © 2010 Pete McGregor

6 comments:

Anne-Marie said...

*waves at Nipper* I wonder if he's still there?

This may be a "pretty standard close-up portrait" to YOU but to me it's riveting. Who gets to see a tarapunga that close up? Such whiteness - he's such a clean boy! - including his iris, the texture of the beak [nice sand there] and even that gorgeous little silvery rim around his eye. I love all the details. Beautiful!

pohanginapete said...

Anne-Marie, I'm glad you like the photo and trust it brings back good memories. I wonder how he (or she — but that seems so strange a thing to say) is getting along. I'd be thrilled beyond words to go back and find him still patrolling the lagoon and sidling up to us, looking for handouts :^)

Barbara said...

The whiteness IS amazing, and that eye ... !!! I'm not sure I like that look ...

butuki said...

Ohhh, WOW!

Zhoen said...

A luminous bird. With a bit of schumtz on the beak.

pohanginapete said...

Barbara, Miguel, Zhoen — thanks. These birds are largely taken for granted — they're abundant and ubiquitous along our coasts and, consequently, most people (I suspect) don't bother looking closely at them. A real shame, as I trust this photo demonstrates.