Sunday, 8 January 2012


Well actually 2GBBG, a Peregrin and a Buzzard against one male Widgeon, not very good odds for the Widgeon. I've seen a GBBG a few times at Newton Marsh dive bombing the Ducks recently, but on Wednesday morning I saw two Gulls dive bombing a Widgeon that had somehow got separated from the flock, this carried on for seven or eight minutes catching and lifting the Widgeon three times out of the water and each time the Widgeon escaped, during this time a peregrin flew low over the water and landed a couple of hundred yards away and a Buzzard was waiting in the wings approximately sixty to seventy yards away.

One of the Gulls was a lot more aggressive than the other, and took up the attack catching the Widgeon and trying to fly to the bank with it, the duck escaped and started swimming away with the gull in close pursuit, catching the Duck dragging it to the bank and pulling it out of the water, the Widgeon escaped twice more but was recaught and dragged back to the bank, finally escaping back to the water, and swimming to the far bank. It was attacked and caught again, escaping twice more and I could see it hiding close to the bank with my binoculars. I couldn't believe that the gull could not see it and eventually they both flew off. After about five minutes the Widgeon slowly dragged itself up the bank totally exhausted. I watched it for about fourty minutes as it slowly recovered expecting the Gulls to return at any time, they flew over twice and ignored the Widgeon and started attacking the flock of Ducks on the water.

I took my first image at 9:54 and my last image at 10:28 though the attack started approximately 9:45. I have tried to be as accurate as possible with my observations. Please judge the images not for the quality but for the story they tell, as it happened over two hundred yards away in very bad light and strong winds. With Iso's of over 2000. Feel free to comment and ask any questions and I will try to answer them.


RAY said...

WOW Martin !! that is amazing I have never seen anything like it ! I can imagine a Peregrin or a Buzzard trying to take a duck but not a Gull !!

You did a great job of capturing the events as they happened in such bad conditions , thanks for sharing your experience ,

Geoff Gradwell said...

Martin, no-one can argue with this photographic evidence. I know we spoke about it, but quite something and illustrates how dangerous GBBG really are (which makes a bit of a nonsense of the £47,000 electric fence). As you say, not 'award winning' for photographic reasons, but they are 'award winning' for capturing the action. Well done.

Foy will be lucky to get out of Manchester in one piece!

Brian Rafferty said...

Martin. That is one very lucky wigeon !!!...A real live drama at Newton Marsh and full marks for capturing the action... Excellent ..well done.

Pete Woodruff said...

An amazing 'nature in the raw' illustrated story Martin. Excellent that you was in the right place at the right time.

I was pleased at the outcome. said...

Rally wonderfull action series,,,,,lucky of being there!

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