CFFC: 2 Items or the Number Two.

This is my contribution to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: 2 Items or the Number Two.

Having rather a long list of photos to pick from I decided to limit myself to eight photos.

Two tree trunks in the snow on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

two tree trunks in snow

Two American Herring Gulls taking a shower on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario, Canada.

Showering Herring Gulls.

Two Silver-studded Blue Butterflies mating, Shropshire, England.

Silver-studded Blue Butterflies mating.

Two Eurasian Blue Tit, the male has just fed the female during incubation, Cheshire, England.

Feeding during incubation.

Two Banded Demoselles, the female is egg laying with the male in the background, Cheshire, England.

Banded Demoselles.

Two American Avocets feeding on a slough in Saskatchewan, Canada.

A pair of American Avocets.

Two Common Redpolls on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

Common Redpolls watching something behind me.

Two Yellow Lady’s Slipper Orchids on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

Yellow Lady's Slipper.

Food.

Except that in the end it wasn’t food in the way I was expecting it to be.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is Food.

I had a dozen ideas for the challenge, none of which I was particularly happy with. I then remembered this incident and decided to tell a bit of a story.

The first photo shows a Herring Gull standing over a fish covered in sand on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario. After a while the Herring Gull lost interest in the fish and left it lying on the sand. It was still lying there when I packed the camera away and headed home. But that is the end of the story.

American Herring Gull guarding a fish.

The story begins when an Osprey patrolling the Lake Huron shallows dives in and catches a fish. This is witnessed by various Herring Gulls who then start harassing the Osprey trying to get it to drop the fish. In this photo an immature Herring Gull is coming in from the side of the Osprey in an attempt to steal the fish.

Herring Gull harassing an Osprey.

Eventually the Osprey is forced to drop the fish. It lands on the shoreline where an adult Herring Gull claims the fish to pick at it briefly before losing interest.

American Herring Gull with a fish.

Fish for breakfast.

An American Herring Gull eating a dead fish. Or a Herring Gull or a Smithsonian Gull depending on the source you refer to.

Taken last Sunday morning on a visit to the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario.

The status of various Herring Gull subspecies seems to change almost daily. I have photos of the nominate species and two subspecies from the U.K. Or I did when I captioned the photos. One of the subspecies is now classified as a separate species, the Yellow-legged Gull, by some authorities.

The American Herring Gull is classified as a subspecies by the American Ornithologists’ Union. But lots of references give it the scientific name of Larus smithsonianus which means it should be a separate species. Just to confuse things even more, the British Ornithologists’ Union recognise the American Herring Gull as a separate species.

Smithsonian Gull.