More Gulls and a couple of surprises

I'm still hammering away at long exposure shots of seagulls. It suits the time of year, and I wasn't able to get out in the brief period of sunshine we had in the middle of the day. So more blurs to puzzle over!

I promised a couple of surprises as well.

The first was in the pond just a few minutes ago. I noticed something moving on the surface. On closer inspection it turned out to be a dragonfly struggling to free itself from the weed. I helped it on to a small piece of bark (which it gripped) and transported to a bush so that it could dry off. It seems exceptionally late in the year, and I'm not sure of the species. I really don't expect to be photographing dragonflies at this time of year, but it says something for the unusually mild weather we've been having (despite the fogs).

The second surprise is from last night's trailcam. It's Shutterbug with a companion. They've been together several times recently. A promising sign for this time of year.. 😀

Last up is not so much a surprise, but a rarety for the blog. It's yours truly taken a few nights ago while I was photographing Shutterbug. The trailcam was set, and fired a few shots while I was doing the same. Not often that I get the wrong side of the camera!

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Camera note: gulls taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens. Dragonfly and fox taken with the EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens. Trail cam images by the Bushnell Trophy Cam.

This entry was posted in dragonfly, Foxes, water birds and tagged , , .


  1. derWandersmann November 17, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    That last shot is a marvel!
    And the dragonfly is a puzzler, isn't it? Awfully late in the year for such a thing … I hope it doesn't mean trouble for them.
    The gulls are even more blurred than the last ones … I like the first one.

  2. claudeb November 17, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Wow. The first one crosses over in abstract art territory. The good kind, which is rare. And the third… hard to believe it's a photograph. :eyes:

    It was nice of you to save the poor dragonfly. And Shutterbug having a friend is definitely good news. (Also, funny how much he looks like a cat in the last photo.)

    Last but not least, I love catching other photographers in a shot. Looks like your trailcam wanted to try as well. 😀

  3. gdare November 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    I feel sorry for a dragonfly because there will be no enough time for it to enjoy flying around. And even that, it will be a lonesome flight :awww:
    Hmm, who is there trying to steal Shutterbug's food :left: :irked:

  4. ICU109 November 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    OH! what a beautiful color of the fox at end!!!! thank you for cheering me up with it!!!!! and how and what …. the first 3 pics? explain, they are so lovely!!!! delicate. the dragon fly is so delicate and lovely too. i saw pics of many many different types of dragonflies I was stunned they were all so lovely!!!

  5. anonymous November 17, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Wojtek writes:

    If someone would tell me that I'd one day consider a blurry photo to be awesome, I would look at him baffled… but, this day has come now.
    Otherwise, well, seems that Shutterbug's settling in… and wasn't amused by being woken up there. 😉

  6. Words November 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    dW, Shutterbug was on great form that night. Sometimes he's in a hurry, but just occasionally he'll relax and stay around for a long time.

    Quite a lot of dragonflies are still around (I was asking on a wildlife forum). The mild weather is helping them. The one in the photo is a 'common darter' apparently, which makes sense as they were here earlier in the year. I was just thrown by it being here so late.

    I'm becoming obsessed with blurred photos!

  7. Words November 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Kathy, I love dragonflies and given that this one wasn't going to fly off in a hurry it was good opportunity to take a few shots. The first three shots are taken with a very slow shutter speed so that the sensor records the movement rather than freezing it.

  8. Words November 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Wojtek, thanks! It's taken me a long time to realize it was possible to take shots like this, but it really does change the whole aesthetic of the photograph. I did darken the highlight on the third one to bring out the contrast, but other than that they are more or less straight from the camera.

  9. Words November 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Darko, the dragonfly won't survive over winter, but I'm sure there are plenty of larvae in the pond so I'm looking forward to more next summer. Oddly, Shutterbug didn't touch the food. I think someone else must be offering a more lavish diet!

  10. Words November 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Felix, thanks! I'm practising the blurred shots quite a lot at the moment. Today's subject was a heron, which I'll post later. I love the sense of movement, and it makes a real change from trying to 'freeze' the moment.

    Over the years I've 'saved' quite a few dragonflies, usually from webs. You're right that foxes can be very cat-like, though they aren't as fluid when climbing trees (but they can do it).

    I occasionally photograph photographers too.

  11. cakkleberrylane November 17, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    I LOVE these long exposure shots! Such a delicacy about them. I'm going to try this too.

  12. Words November 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Lois, it's an excellent winter pass time!

  13. Mickeyjoe-Irl November 18, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    That first picture… it looks more like a piece of cloth blowing in the wind.

  14. Words November 19, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Mick, my secret is out!

  15. Mickeyjoe-Irl November 19, 2011 at 3:11 am #


  16. SittingFox November 20, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    The first gull looks like it's engaging a cloaking device! :spock:

    Self portrait by trailcam – I've done accidentally that once or twice :whistle:

    Lovely shot of Shutterbug though!

  17. Words November 20, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    Adele, I'm learning more about how to take the gull shots, picking movement that will work, and trying to pan the lateral movement while keeping it in focus. Plenty of misses!

    Shutterbug did himself proud that evening. Plus getting me in front of the camera. He deserves a Bonio!

  18. ICU109 December 19, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    deserves a Bonio? he said bonio. no, that's what SHE said. I kid. just get my pills.

  19. ICU109 December 19, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    you have any idea of the blood sweat and tears I'd go thru to get that blurry outcome in your 3rd pic?????? you just go ahead now and send to gramma all your blurry stuff and I'll make into artwork. that is an amazing shot. don't touch a thing.

  20. Words December 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Kathy, I was astounded by that third shot when I saw it on screen. I really have no idea what they'll look like when I take them.

  21. Words December 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Kathy, Bonio.

  22. ICU109 December 21, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    I kid. anyway, you are astounded because you had captured an angel on the film! amazing amazing!

  23. Words December 21, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    I don't know about angels, but I did once photograph a faerie at the bottom of the garden.

  24. ICU109 January 12, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    somehow I believe you. bout the faerie.

    checked out the link. astounding.

  25. Words January 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm #