Thursday, February 07, 2013

Birds and their perches

click photo to enlarge
Avian vantage points vary from species to species. In my garden the jackdaws tend to stay high, favouring chimney pots and roof ridges. The blackbirds are often seen on top of the clothes posts, on the security lights, and on middling branches of the trees. The mistle thrushes are almost always on the topmost branches of the tallest trees, particularly liking the poplar and eucalyptus. Out in the countryside buzzards are commonly on the dead branches of large trees such as oaks, though kestrels prefer telephone wires and posts of any kind.

But what about gulls? In coastal towns where there are no cliffs the tops of houses and their chimneys provide good places to survey the land. So too do tall street lights. However, on a recent trip into Boston, Lincolnshire, I spotted a gull on a sculpture. Nothing unusual about that I suppose; gulls can often be seen perched on the heads of statues erected to the great and good making them look slightly ridiculous. And even when they are absent from these favoured positions their presence at other times is evident from the "deposits" that they leave behind.

However, this gull had chosen a sculpture of a different bird species on which to perch. The former Fogarty Feather Factory is surmounted by a large mute swan in recognition of its role as a centre of the manufacture of pillows, eiderdowns etc. Today the factory houses flats, but the swan remains, and on the day I passed by it offered a vantage point for a solitary gull. The sight of it immediately suggested that my two earlier photographs of birds on bird sculptures - see this one from Southport and this one from London - could be complemented by a third. It's not a great photograph, just a bit of fun to brighten a cold February afternoon.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 282mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/500
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: On