Saturday, 5 May 2007

Dawn patrol

We woke at 04:30 and set off down ul. Trombity towards the marshes at the end of the road. Sunrise was at 04:57; the first pic was taken quarter of an hour earlier, homage to Ansel Adams' Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.

Wearing Wellington boots we intended to wade through the shallower marshes towards where the black-headed gulls live. Before we got to the end of the road, we watched the sun rise through the trees.

The gulls were already up and settled in their habitat (below). We could hear the distinctive call of bullfrogs - like someone blowing over the top of an empty jug. I've yet to see a bullfrog. The gulls were far noisier. They did not take kindly to having their territory invaded; they were up in the air wheeling around, squawking loudly and protesting my presence. The picture below shows how many black-headed gulls live in this area; I counted around 80 individuals in this shot (taken at the equivalent of 50mm focal length).

As the gulls wheeled around me, one particular individual seemed intent on dive-bombing me while issuing a distinctive squawk. I followed this one (to the right of the pic below) with the lens; again and again he tried spooking me into turning away. Note the white leading edges of the gulls' wings, a distinguishing feature. After I'd got my shots, I wandered back towards ul. Dumki. Three gulls followed me, as if they were escorting me off the premises. Meanwhile, a solitary bullfrog continued making his bottle-blowing noise.

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