Larus philadelphia
Bonaparte’s Gull, Svartnäbbad Skrattmås, Bonapartemåge













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Denmark's third ever Bonaparte's Gull (Larus philadelphia) is setting off from a small pond on the beach of the north western coast of peninsula Jutland, just east of fishing hothouse Hirtshals on a sunny Friday morning October the 1st 2004.

The coffee from HB’s jug that morning on the beach was not boiling hot as we shared my bag of rollers, but it did good and who cares blessed in the days first light having all the time in the world ahead of you.
Good coffee. The first rays of sun and the open sea.
I tend never to forget these mornings by the North Sea. Something happens in its cold salty breeze. There’s even a risk that my mind slips away as soon as I put the binoculars to the eyes and adjust my sight to this special, condensed view that it provides. The perspective compressed by a lens. The sea. Water with a sparkle of sunbeams’ dazzling reflections over a razor sharp, icy cold reality.


Bluish sometimes, but more often like moving into grey, cyan and green in a transparent waving infinity. Tones that avoid being printed or reproduced in any camera, and if your gaze is focused long enough a couple of hundred metres out in the open sea. A view out of this world and into another. A world so entirely and solemnly belonging to the animals.
Have you seen a group of gannets hunting.
Keep the rest of it but leave this for me.

And of course the Bonaparte’s Gull
As we drank our coffee no more than 10 people had managed to se the creature including me the photographer, two local workers from Hirtshals harbour and a couple of students escaping their lectures on university some 50 miles away.

Last time this Canadian bird was observed here was in 1996, and before that the Danish town of Skagen had the pleasure in 1988.


Last update 2009-09-06