New and Mew Gulls

I love photos of gulls in flight!  It would be far better if I could tell you exactly what species of gull we're looking at here, but I'm not entirely sure!  In the first place, there are many species of gulls in California that we don't have around here (and vice-versa), so I didn't even try to ID all of them.

In the second,place this is not a fully mature gull, and I haven't memorized three or four years worth of different plumages even for the local gulls I know and love.  I like this photo because it caught the gull in mid-landing.  As I've said before, a beginning bird photographer can't choose a better subject than a gull!

This Mew Gull would be considered a rarity here in Massachusetts.  Personally, I think he's a particularly appealing bird.  The Mew Gull can easily be identified by it's small bill, roundish head, and small size.  The fact that he is often described as a a 'cute' gull is another example of humans instinctual reaction to animals with rounder heads and smaller features.  (See this post for another example).

Another gull we don't see at all in New England is the Heermann's Gull, but the Heermann's Gull is also very easy to ID.  This is a juvenile bird, and it's the only uniformly dark colored gull with black legs and feet that you'll ever see.

Here he is actually chasing down another gull in order to steal it's supper - typical gull behavior despite it's atypical appearance.  The adult Heermann's is even more startling-looking; it has a bright white head and a bright red bill!


  1. Hi,
    I just found your blog as I was trying to find more birding blogs that have a local focus (I participate in two Newton blogs). Your pictures are really great and I have been enjoying them! Do you mind if I ask what you use to take your photos? I'd like to upgrade from holding my camera phone to my binoculars.

    1. I have a Nikon D300 and a Nikon D7000. If i was going with my first DSLR, though, a used D90 or the equivalent would be my first choice. I started with a used D100 and it changed my life! All of these camera require buying separate lenses, though, so it can be pricey. I know many bloggers with point-and-shoot cameras who take spectacular photos! If you can take a picture with a phone and binoculars, you'll be fine with any upgrade. I could never have done that.
      Good Luck, Matt!

  2. Thanks for the information. I have been looking at the Nikon D5100 thinking I might be able to use all its capacities, while my family can still use some of the more user friendly settings. I used to shoot a 35mm Nikon, but don't think my old lenses are going to be much good on the newer cameras. I am hoping to move to a 55-300mm zoom lens, but am a little concerned that it wont be as much power as I'd like. Do you mind if I also ask what lenses you tend to use?

    1. That's a great camera. My friend has one As far as I know, all of your old Nikon lenses should work, too. The 55-300 is a good lens, too (I used it when we went cross country), but usually we both have Tamron 200-500mm lenses for bird photography - which is pretty much the only photography we do. The Tamron 200-500 is an outstanding lens, which is why I bought two of them. They are the only 500mm lens that I can use handheld. But for family use and birding, I think the 55-300 will be great. Not that I'm an expert, mind you! That is just my personal experience. Have fun with whatever you get!

  3. Personal opinions are great though, its nice to know what others use to accomplish their photography instead of completely reinventing the wheel. Again thanks for all the information!


I love positive comments, critical comments,and corrections most of all!