Close Up Herring Gull in Flight with a Sea Urchin

/, Fort De Soto County Park, Herring Gulls, Pinellas County/Close Up Herring Gull in Flight with a Sea Urchin

Herring Gull with UrchinHerring Gull with Urchin – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, not baited

In January of 2009 I was walking Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach photographing herons, egrets and shorebirds when a gull flying in from the south caught my eye and and I trained my lens on it hoping to get some flight shots of it.

I was able to lock on to the Herring Gull in flight with a sea urchin in its bill when it was close enough to me to fill the frame, it was almost too close at that point. The gull must have found the urchin washed up onto the shore in the wrack line south of where I was. I’ve watched Herring Gulls fly up high and drop urchins and mollusks onto the beach to crack them open to get the tender meat inside but this gull just kept flying north of me with the urchin in its bill. The gull may have wanted to find a quieter spot on the beach to open the urchin where it wouldn’t have to fight off other gulls to keep its prey.

I like how this close up shows lots of fine detail in the face of the gull and the sea urchin.

I’m thinking today about all of my friends in Florida under the threat of Hurricane Matthew. Be safe.



  1. Utahbooklover October 8, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Another wonderful image, and one I’ll never see in my rare journeys to Florida.

    • Mia McPherson October 9, 2016 at 8:33 am

      I hope you will get to see one Utahbooklover. Sometimes they show up at Farmington Bay.

  2. April Olson October 7, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Stunning shot.

  3. Elephant's Child October 7, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    From this side of the world I am adding my safety wishes.

  4. Patty Chadwick October 7, 2016 at 10:41 am

    This is an amazing shot! It made me think of the hurricane, the danger and the damage, too. It also made me wonder where the gulls, pelicans, spoonbills and other birds go in wide-swath storms like this…one of my longtime Lakota friends has recently moved to Myrtle Beach and one of my sisters lives on Bald Head Island, plus friends in Dade County and on the coast…

  5. Bob McPherson October 7, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Beautiful photo, Mia.

  6. pennypinchadventure Tim Traver October 7, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Beautiful shot of a familiar bird! Never get tired of flight. Thanks for the morning image!

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