Feeding Time

Ed Waido, of East Lyme, feeds handfuls of potato chip leftovers to gulls at McCook Beach in Niantic Friday, March 9, 2012 in East Lyme. Waido, who stops to feed the gulls during his lunch break says "Once they know you're not afraid of them they'll fly right up to you."

I will admit that I was not really looking to shoot a photo when I stopped at McCook beach in Niantic one day last week. Mostly I was looking for someplace to stop the car, eat my lunch, and bide my time before my next assignment nearby.

I wasn't really planning on changing that when I spied Ed Waido stroll from his parked car onto the sand. The gulls flocked around him and my first thought was that the last thing I needed was a photo of gulls being fed.

Personally I'm not really in favor of feeding the gulls. It only encourages them to harass people at the beach. But it's not my job to impose my philosophy on other people.

At first the flocking gulls caught my eye just because they seemed to start the flurry before Waido even started tossing food out. I did pull out my camera to get a closer look at his interactions with the birds. Then I noticed he was not just tossing crumbs onto the sand. The gulls were picking the bits right out of the air.

Now I had to get out of the car and get close enough to capture the details. That was when I noticed in some cases the gulls plucking chips right from Waido's fingers. I kept working in closer to concentrate on one-on-one interactions until I captured this frame.

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