Bubble Bites

January 7, 2018

Monterey, California

Usually the photographer seeks out the wildlife, but sometimes the wildlife finds the photographer.

After what was already a long dive I surfaced face-to-face with this young Western gull (Larus occidentalis). To my surprise, as I bubbled at the waterline this inquisitive gull immediately approached. Seeing how curious it was of the bubbles, I ducked below the water on scuba and it quickly lunged for the escaping air on the surface, snapping wildly underwater at the camera, bubbles, and even my shutter finger. I can only guess that it was prospecting the food potential of the situation, maybe even having a bit of fun.

It was an incredibly fun shoot despite photographing blindly into the sun while flailing mid-water on a nearly empty tank. Attempts to find the same or equally approachable bird have been in vain, so it seems this individual was quite the unique character whose bubbly encounter I won't soon forget.

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