A New Family Arrives

Well it had to happen. I've been watching the nest for a couple of weeks or more and today caught the first glimpse of the newly hatched chicks. They're herring gulls, now red-listed as among our most endangered species. This reflects a general population decline and loss of habitat. Locally, however, they are among our most common birds and are the symbol of our local football (soccer) team, Brighton & Hove Albion (nickname, The Seagulls). These chicks were born in sight of the club's new stadium. There are three in the brood.

Earlier in the morning I'd been down to the pond, where I took this shot of a moorhen on a nest, and a heron.

At luncthime I went out to see one of the local poppy fields. The poppies colonise areas where the soil has been turned, so at this time of year swathes of the rural landscape turn red. It can be quite spectacular. This was a relatively small area in the corner of a local field.

It's raining this evening (much needed), but I did have some success out in the garden during a brief respite. Shutterbug appeared, once again accompanied by the cub. It was slightly bolder tonight, willing to stand out in the semi open and disappearing and reappearing several times. I risked one photo from around 30 feet away.

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Camera note: all shots taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens, except the fox cub which was photographed with the EF70-300mm 4.5-5.6 DO IS lens.

This entry was posted in Landscape, South Downs National Park, water birds and tagged , , , , .

11 Comments

  1. sanshan June 11, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    40? That's amazing. Very elegant looking gull btw.

  2. sanshan June 11, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    Those gulls are so sweet. I've never seen a chick. Herring gulls are abundant here, actually a bit of a pest.

  3. Words June 11, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    Lot's of people regard them as pests here as they tend to pick open rubbish sacks, steal ice creams from the hands of tourists, generally make a noise, and occasionally dive-bomb passers-by. But they are now legally protected. Amazing birds, and they've been know to live to about 40!

  4. gdare June 11, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    Originally posted by Words:

    steal ice creams from the hands of tourists,

    :yikes:
    I will remember that if I ever visit England :left:

  5. anonymous June 12, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    Anonymous writes:

    Very cool leopard-markings on those gulls 🙂 Also, love the field of poppies!

  6. Words June 12, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Thanks Anon!

  7. Words June 12, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Erwin, thanks!

  8. Words June 12, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Darko, seriously. One day I will have to spend some time trying to get pictures.

  9. SittingFox June 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    The gulls are so cute at that age. You'd never guess what monsters they will become 😉

    Congrats on catching the cub! :up:

  10. Words June 15, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    Adele, lots more cuteness to come from those chicks I think. I have to walk past them every day, so the temptation to get the camera out is overwhelming. The cub is proving very tricky, though from the trail cam it's clearly very feisty and has no fear at all of adult foxes who it 'attacks' at every opportunity!

  11. Wulpen October 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Beautiful shots… a great post