Sunday, December 21, 2008

See Gull

Is Your Name Gregory Peck?

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Seagulls are very much a part of life here in Melbourne. You see them on the waterfront, you see them on the beaches, you see them at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and – curiously – you even see them in suburbs that are more than 30 kilometres away from the bay.

In fact, seagulls were the cause of a highly unusual situation three years ago. It’s not uncommon for flocks of seagulls to be seen on sports ovals, but in March 2005, a horse race at Sandown, in the city’s southeast, was disrupted by gulls.


The birds rose into the air en masse, frightening the horses and five jockeys were thrown off their mounts. A great photograph taken of he incident seems to depict a dense cloud of seagulls rising from the grass – and it’s only when you look closely do you realise there are racehorses on a track in the background.

Unusually, the race was declared void because of a rule which says unforeseen circumstances can allow a race to be stopped. As for the gull in the shot below, he must have been stuck in beak-hour traffic.


Check out the rules at Camera Critters or go to Misty Dawn.

26 comments:

Moannie said...

Terrific pictures of what are, at least in our street, which is only a couple of hundred yards from the sea, menaces. Especially in the breeding season when one particular pair nest between for chimney pots on a house that Milou and I have to pass on our way for W.A.L.K.I.E.S Mom and Pop take turns to swoop and dive on us, squawking like crazy and flapping at my head. Close up they are huge, and their beaks seem deadly.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

I do not like seagulls of any kind.
I actually hate them . For some reason they are either hitting me in the head, stealing my food or just being disgusting.

Jedediah said...

Gorgeous birds. I really don't want to know what he's eating in the last picture...

Sandi McBride said...

I found to my dismay at Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) while I was there for a Crime Scene Siminar that they love popcorn...I had left a bag out on the deck of the room and when the I opened the curtains the next morning it was like a scene out of Hitchcock's "the Birds"...lol..great shot and loved the horse race reference...you know of course I do love a horse race!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Loved the pictures, David, and I wonder what on earth made that huge flock end up at the race track to scare all the horses. Sure hope the jockeys and the horses weren't hurt in the incident. Race horses are skittish enough without Jonathan Livingston Seagull thrown into the mix! we have a small shorebird collection from various carvers in the U.S. I just love birds, period.

Sheila

Casdok said...

They are quite stunning close up.

Sandy said...

I know a lot of people don't like sea gulls, but I think they are so pretty (and they are VERY smart). I could just picture all those sea gulls on the grass at the track!

Juliana RW said...

wow...cool close up seagulls you made..

My CC entry this week : in HERE. Hope you have time to visit . Thanks

Lee said...

Great pictures, David! You managed to get up close and personal with them. When I lived in Corpus Christi I'd sometimes have lunch along the piers at the shoreline. The seagulls never left me along for long. And of course, there Johnathan Livingston Seagul!

Cheers!

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Were they screaming
"Mine,mine,mine" ?

The Muse said...

Great shots!
(Do I want to know what he is eating?~I wonder if he is following the 5 second rule?) LOL

Grammy said...

Wonderful photos. Happy holidays. Grammy

Rhea said...

Great photos. I can't believe a flock of them disrupted a horse race. That's wild!!

Baino said...

Always amazes me that seaguls manage to keep so clean when the ibis in their company are absolutely filthy (not sure if you have them in Melbourne but they're just as voracious a scavenger as the gulls!) Nearly got carried away by gulls who insisted on pinching my chips in Victor Harbour once . . .cheeky devils. They can be a problem at Kingsford Smith airport too!

Craig Glenn said...

Love those eyes. Never seen gulls of that sort.

Craig

kayleen said...

great photos as always! happy holidays!

Rocky Mtn. Girl said...

A rare sight to see the sea gulls around here, that's for sure. There are no large bodies of water for these little critters to soar over on a wind current, I need to travel about 3 hours to see them.
A nice post.

Wishing you Happy Holidays from a bitterly cold British Columbia, Canada...
Michele, Marcell and even Tomba!
Mountain Retreat- Canada

Maggie May said...

Gregory Peck!!!!! LOL
Lovely pictures but they can be a bit aggressive in cities! Snatching food and swooping down on people. Making a mess on buildings! We have them here!

squawmama said...

Great pictures David and interesting post... They are funny birds... Little thiefs...

(((HUGS))
Donna

babooshka said...

I am so familiar with these birds now living coastal but as a former townie I seldom came across one. Nothing funnier than one swooping on a tourist's lunch, but I'm sure if it was mine I wouldn't be amused. The title of course is another story.

Lakshmi said...

Wonderful pictures..Ive seen them during my visit to Australia many years ago..Ive attempted a different interpretation of critters..hope you like it..

June said...

Nice shots...especially like the first one.

i beati said...

I was reading about the speedboating Santas yesterday - did they scare away the Seagulls??

CrazyCath said...

Fabulous shots. We get lots of seagulls too and we are inland. There are some quite vicious and greedy seagulls on the coast. The herring gulls are not quite so aggressive.

These are great shots though. Love the last one with the colour contrast of the morsel about to be pecked.

(In the seagulls' defence - as much as I dislike their aggressive ways, they would not be that aggressive if people did not feed them in the first place, or leave food on the ground where they can get it. They have come to expect food from humans so they now steal it. That is common round our coastline anyway.)

Misty Dawn said...

I love your posts......and your sense of humor...... "Gregory Peck" bwaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha

Tootie said...

I know the birds must be a menace, but your Gregory Peck :-) is quite beautiful. I liked your story too.

Have a wonderful Christmas!