The Insides of Gulls’ Mouths

Whenever nothing better presents itself, I find myself training my lens on gulls’ faces, and waiting for them to open their beaks. (It never takes long. Gulls, by the sounds of things, spend at least half their lives making noise. As I write this, I can hear several shrieking over the water, and another’s outside my window, issuing grunts in groups of three: grunt-grunt grunt. Grunt-grunt-grunt. Grunt-grunt-grunt. It’s been doing that for some time, now. It’s becoming a nuisance.)

Speaking of nuisances, I witnessed a bird-related altercation, today. I couldn’t hear every word of it, seeing as I’m on the fifth floor, and this was transpiring five floors down, but here’s the gist of it:

MY LANDLORD: (mumble, mumble) — expect me to do?

CROTCHETY OLD MAN: (points at a goose; mumbles)

MY LANDLORD: (chases the goose off the lawn, in a somewhat half-arsed manner — that is to say, he walked in its general direction, till it waddled off)

CROTCHETY OLD MAN: (points at the goose, which is now on the pavement) — still right there!

MY LANDLORD: Well, what do you want me to do?

CROTCHETY OLD MAN: (points at a second goose, which is sleeping on the lawn) — and another one!

MY LANDLORD: (chases the second goose off the lawn, and begins to walk away)

CROTCHETY OLD MAN: Don’t you walk away from me! (points at various planters, full of dead plants) — I’m just supposed to (mumble, mumble)

MY LANDLORD: (shrugs and leaves)

I’m surmising the crotchety old git lives on the first floor, and is tired of the geese tearing up the lawn, and digging in his planters. The degree of his ire, I’m afraid, is cause for concern. He seems like just the kind of loudmouthed busybody who’d report my feeders to management. Not, of course, that there’s any rule against birdfeeders; he hasn’t a leg to stand on. But it’s been my experience that, when faced with the choice of listening to some miserable old coot carp on and on about bird damage, or asking a quiet, obedient tenant to remove a feeder, it’s the quiet tenant who loses. I’m not even feeding geese! Stupid old man. If he deprives me of my balcony bawkies (especially the hummingbirds), I’m going to kick over his planters, myself! (Well, not really, but I’ll think spiteful thoughts at him. Lots of spiteful thoughts.)

Returning to the subject of gull photography, here are today’s attempts to peer into the hellbeak:

Here, we have a nice back-of-the-head shot.

Here, we have a nice back-of-the-head shot.

...and a spot of flappety action.

…and a spot of flappety action.

Eyeing up the feeder.

Eyeing up the feeder.

And here we have it -- a glimpse into the awful cavern!  Look at that wet, serrated flesh!  What a nightmare!  (I wish I could get similar shots of crows' beak-innards, but crows are less obliging with the squawks.)

And here we have it — a glimpse of the awful cavern! Look at that wet, serrated flesh! What a nightmare! (I wish I could get similar shots of crows’ beak-innards, but crows are less obliging with the squawks.)

Ever tried to sync your shuttersnaps with the bawking of a bird? It’s not so easy….

Also, I spent too much in the sun, and got a sunburn on my right ear. Only the right one. What a pain.

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