Springtime California Gull PortraitSpringtime California Gull Portrait – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/4000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 258mm, natural light, not baited

Yesterday while I was out photographing Long-billed Curlews this California Gull flew in so close that all I could do was take portraits of the bird. After a long holiday weekend and the abundance of campers on Antelope Island State Park, I’m fairly certain the bird was looking for a hand out. I could see other gulls scouring the campsites for any scraps of food left behind.

I like the out of focus, tiny pink wildflowers that are currently blanketing the grasslands of the island showing in the background, the snowy white plumage of the gull, the bits of oolitic sand on the bird’s bill and the brilliant colors of the gape, orbital ring and bill. I also rather enjoy being able to see the reflection of the fluffy clouds in the sky in the upper quadrant of the gull’s dark eye.

You’d think that Utah would have selected a different species for the State Bird given that the name of this species is the California Gull. I’ve written about why the California Gull was picked for the Utah State Bird here, it is an interesting story.


Oh, the Biting Gnats (no-see-ums) are back and bit me up yesterday. Grumble, grumble.