It wasn’t the sight I expected when I looked out of the window this morning – I saw what I thought was a seagull and a smaller bird in the distance.
What it turned out to be, was a Heron and a seagull even further in the distance than I’d first thought!
I’ve seen flocks of pigeons flying in a tight-knit formation quite often, but it’s not that common to see a flock of crows flying together. You could hear them long before you could see them, and I do wonder where they were heading!
A little while later, two crows returned and were swooping and diving over the valley for a while.
Not to be left out, the local gull population were also congregating nearby, circling over the fields. Maybe the farmer has put down a seaweed preparation on the soil that’s attracting them….
The gull below is definitely a juvenile, although I’m not too sure which type of gull is actually is.
I am pretty sure however, that this gull would be a Lesser Black Backed Gull as I’ve seen a similar one before (or maybe it’s the same gull).
I’ll be honest and admit that I tend to just ignore ‘seagulls’ and ‘pigeons’ when I’m taking photos of wildlife. However, as I was taking some photos today, I decided to actually take some of the gulls, and try to identify them.
This one had me stumped until I asked a local wildlife group – they decided it was a Lesser Black-Backed Gull, as the Great variety isn’t commonly spotted away from coastal areas.
The RSPB say that the Lesser black-backed gull is smaller than a Herring Gull, and has a dark grey / black back and wings. The only real difference between the Lesser and the Great is the size.
Not the most inspired of days weather-wise today – the cloud is still there, but by 3pm the fog had started to clear a little on the hills. Not the best of days for birdwatching either, as the Army have been flying around the area, which tends to put most of the larger birds off.
One strange sight though, was a couple of gulls that looked like they were ‘mobbing’ the helicopter! I’m sure this was just an illusion given the angle and distance away from me, and that they weren’t as close as they appeared, but they did seem to circle the area where the helicopter was flying, and only flew off once the intruder had moved on.
Can you spot the seagulls to the top and right, appearing to mob the Apache helicopter?
I’m not sure if the Buzzard is trying to taunt the gull, or swoop away from it, but it certainly looked like an unusual angle to be flying!
Strangely enough, the gull just ignored the Buzzard- normally the gulls gang up and ‘mob’ the birds of prey. Maybe there’s no youngsters to protect now, so they aren’t feeling quite so territorial?
No, I haven’t gone to the seaside today, but given the number of seagulls flying around and calling, it certainly sounds like I have!
The seagulls have nested in the city centre for years, but recently have been driven out of the centre, in an attempt to save the tourists and locals from being ‘dive bombed’ by protective gulls when someone has unwittingly walked a little too close to a building hosting a gull nest.
As a result, the gulls have moved to the edges of the city, where the local crow population wasn’t overly enamoured by the newcomers. However, they all seem to tolerate each other, which I’ve found surprising – the crows and gulls all swoop into the gardens when there’s food put out, leaving the smaller birds free to raid the seed feeders while the larger birds are kept busy.
With all the gulls here, I do wonder if any are left at the seaside!