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Swallow Tale Gull ?

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Thank you for all the very positive comments and clicks on my Geese upload and very special thanks to Ken(Franken), Ann (EAS) and lin(Sweetpea62) for their UA's and to Flamesworddragon for the guest editor award.
I have had no time to do much this week but managed to get out to Ham Wall yesterday afternoon. Appalling weather and very little happening other than a nice flyby by a large family of Gadwall. Then I noticed what I thought was a Herring gull pulling something onto one of the platforms that have been put out for birds to rest on.
This 'something' seemed to be a young Moorhen (dead) and the gull stomped around pulling at the carcass (V1) for a while then picked it up by the head (V2) and tried to swallow it whole (V3).
He did not succeed as it got stuck at the pelvis and he regurgitated the whole bird. He tried this on six successive occasions and failed each time but in between was picking and pulling at the carcass.
On the seventh try he managed to get the dead moorhen past the pelvis by dint of some squats and knee bends (V4 and v5) and stomping and jumping around.
Eventually the whole bird was inside the Gulls crop and throat but the feet wouldn't fit (V6).
The gull then sat for about half an hour resting, apparently unconcerned, with the moorhens feet sticking out of it's mouth and one foot up.
He then tried some more maneuvers and the feet finally disappeared (V7 and V8)).
I don't think any of the shots are particularly great but the experience was instructive and amusing - and when I got home I checked on the Gull because of his very bright yellow legs and very large red bill spot. Apparently there is a species called a Yellow legged Gull, which occurs in the South of the country in summer, that fits these criteria - I would love to hear from any ornithological experts.
Hope you enjoy the pictures. A

Brand:NIKON CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D800 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:Nikon 70-200mm VR f/2.8 Plus 2.0x TCE conv
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:15 Jun 2012 - 6:52 AM
Focal Length:400mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/5.7
Aperture:f/5.6
Shutter Speed:1/1600sec
Exposure Comp:+2/3
ISO:800
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Off, Did not fire
Title:Swallow Tale Gull ?
Username:accipiter accipiter
Uploaded:16 Jun 2012 - 3:09 PM
Tags:Gull. Herring Gull. Yellow Legged gull. Ham Wall. Somerset levels. Swallowing, Wildlife / nature
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Votes:39
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Comments

CarolG
CarolG e2 Member 8146 forum postsCarolG vcard Greece18 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 3:22 PM

How very gruesome, Arthur, but very well captured. I didn't know gulls were cannibals Grin Carol

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sweetpea62
sweetpea62 e2 Member 4sweetpea62 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 3:27 PM

A stunning set Arthur captured so well,well done..Lin

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mikejmb
mikejmb  7 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2012 - 3:44 PM

Great capture, a truly graphic account but this looks to me more like a Lesser Black-backed Gull, the back looks too dark and the legs would be yellow. Interested what others think?

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prabhusinha
prabhusinha e2 Member 6prabhusinha vcard India3 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 3:47 PM

A gulp of a Gull. A Fantastic set.

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jaktis
jaktis e2 Member 1082 forum postsjaktis vcard Sweden
16 Jun 2012 - 3:55 PM

Thats an impressive bite to swallow

Peter

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Maiwand
Maiwand e2 Member 8Maiwand vcard England69 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 3:58 PM

Astonishing series of shots Arthur. I have seen the gulls take young of other birds before but never seen one having to make such a determined effort. They usually dump it if it does'nt get down easily. Your narrative was most useful.
Ron

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MoragM
MoragM  4 Scotland
16 Jun 2012 - 3:59 PM

Every picture tells a story! Incredible - didn't know gulls could swallow like that.

Morag

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nicedayout
16 Jun 2012 - 4:01 PM

Superbly captured. Jamie

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helenlinda
helenlinda e2 Member 7338 forum postshelenlinda vcard United Kingdom21 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 4:07 PM

Mind boggling !!!
Very amusing series of shots Arthur - v5 is my favourite - looks as if he has sprouted antenna WinkWink
Helen

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senn
senn e2 Member 3senn vcard Belgium1 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 4:38 PM

impressive series

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55jase
55jase  9186 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 4:38 PM

Superb and great write up.
Jase

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RickFreid
RickFreid  4 United States
16 Jun 2012 - 4:39 PM

Fantastic series!

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franken
franken e2 Member 123261 forum postsfranken vcard Wales4 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 5:00 PM

These are incredible images!


Ken

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RonnieAG
RonnieAG e2 Member 5143 forum postsRonnieAG vcard Scotland112 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 5:04 PM

What an amazing sequence of shots which I would have had difficulty believing had you not captured them.
Wonderful nature series.
Ronnie.

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coastem
coastem  3 United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 5:26 PM

Crickey!

Excellent series.

Stan

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barbarahirst
barbarahirst e2 Member 6barbarahirst vcard United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 5:38 PM

What an amazing set ... though must admit I feel kinda squemish now

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fentiger
fentiger  13915 forum posts England22 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 5:42 PM

That is gross hope it gets indigestion Wink. Great series of images ~ well captured.

Albert

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WhiteRose1
WhiteRose1 e2 Member 41101 forum postsWhiteRose1 vcard England136 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 5:50 PM

It makes me gag just looking at the images, Arthur. Amazing capture, and well-written documentary.

Dave

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moiral
moiral e2 Member 4moiral vcard Scotland
16 Jun 2012 - 7:25 PM

Great series of shots - nature at it's worst Grin. Greedy pig of a gull, they will eat anything. Probably shouldn't laugh, but I did! Moira

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pluckyfilly
pluckyfilly e2 Member 8317 forum postspluckyfilly vcard United Kingdom33 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 8:58 PM

geat set 3,4,and 5 are amazing

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EAS
EAS  5 Scotland13 Constructive Critique Points
16 Jun 2012 - 9:47 PM

Amazing and horribly fascinating stuff!

Ann

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Lillian
Lillian e2 Member 5Lillian vcard United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
17 Jun 2012 - 10:23 AM

If I had not seen those images? unbelievable determination
wonderful set Arthur
Lillian

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Glostopcat
Glostopcat e2 Member 8246 forum postsGlostopcat vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
17 Jun 2012 - 10:39 AM

A cracking sequence of natural history images showing this greedy gull devouring this young moorhen, you've recorded the event so superbly. I have never heard of a swallow tale gull before, no doubt hoardes of twitchers will descend on Ham Wall en masse to view this rare bird!Wink I was hoping to visit the levels on Wednesday with the Big O but work commitments have scuppered that idea, a real pity as the weather looked like it was set fairSad

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Ade_Osman
Ade_Osman e2 Member 114521 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
17 Jun 2012 - 11:12 AM

Excellent images Arthur......

Sending you a PM, which might be of interest.......Ade

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lostnspace2011
17 Jun 2012 - 1:17 PM

Nature doing what nature does. A fine set if not a little gruesome Arthur.
My initial thoughts on what gull it was was a lesser black backed. It looks too light in colour to be a great black backed gull.

Mark

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annettep38
annettep38 e2 Member 3188 forum postsannettep38 vcard France32 Constructive Critique Points
17 Jun 2012 - 10:05 PM

Fantastic series, the gull seems to defy the laws of physics!
Well spotted

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goso
goso e2 Member 8goso vcard Australia1 Constructive Critique Points
17 Jun 2012 - 10:40 PM

Amazing captures Arthur - what can be more natural than nature ...Bill

Last Modified By goso at 17 Jun 2012 - 10:43 PM

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brownsilent
brownsilent e2 Member 7brownsilent vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jun 2012 - 9:58 PM

God gracious! I thought it must choke and fall dead in the last image! What a greedy beast.
Excellent sequence,
Johanna

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xwang
xwang  531 forum posts7 Constructive Critique Points
15 Jul 2012 - 4:09 PM

Superbly captured images,it's unbelievable!...

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