The Seagull Has Landed

Seagulls may well be a feature of the seaside but when I moved to Grimsby I didn’t expect to get a pair nesting on my roof!

It started about two months ago when birds started to appear in the area and could be seen on chimney stacks along the road but I didn’t think a great deal about it.  Then five or six weeks ago I came across a broken egg shell in the garden and using my book of common British Birds I was able to identify it as the egg of a Herring Gull and all of a sudden I began to understand why I had been sweeping up twigs and nest building material from all around the house over the last couple of weeks and it became obvious that a nesting pair had chosen my chimney as the perfect place to raise a family!

This still wasn’t too much of an inconvenience and I watched them daily until finally the eggs hatched and two chicks appeared – then the problems started.

Firstly the noise every morning at four o’clock as it got light and the parents took it in turns to go looking for food and announced their departure and arrival to and from the chimney pots with their familiar loud squawking calls which meant a succession of unexpected early wake ups.

  

Secondly the neighbours who kept knocking on the door and telling me I’d got house guests each one as though telling me something that I didn’t know already and then my roof suddenly became something like the Television programme ‘Springwatch’ and I was conscious that several pairs of binoculars were trained on the house which meant I had to be sure to put my trousers on before wandering around in the mornings!

Finally protective parenting has made my back garden a virtual no-go area.  The birds have grown to quite a substantial size and there is no room in the nest for both chicks and the parents so one adult birds stays on permanent sentry duty on the roof of the house next door and anytime I go in the garden it starts to sound a repetitive clucking alarm call which seems to alert other seagulls nearby and within seconds there are half a dozen of them circling the garden and making an awful din.  A couple of them are quite aggressive and will swoop down as though attacking and a few times I have been nervous enough to beat a hasty retreat back into the house.

Unfortunately I can expect them to be there for another couple of weeks or so because although they are quite large now and have an impressive wing span they seem to be showing no inclination to fly away so I have to continue to put up with the inconvenience.  They are protected of course which means I can’t take action against them without being in breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Acts and the really bad news is that these things live for a very long time and may well come back again next year.

Daily they young birds get more adventurous and extend their wings and peer over the edge of the chimney, eventually the first one leaps and like a piece of falling masonry broken from the stack it falls gracelessly into the garden where it sits for a moment or two dealing with the surprise change of environment.  After a while almost as though some primeval sense of danger inherent in its cunning brain urges it to move to a less vulnerable position and so it flapped its awkward wings and half flying, half jumping repositioned itself on the bonnet of my car where it stayed for an hour or so and obligingly let me take these photographs.

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Other posts about birds:

Blackbirds

Collared Doves

Dunnock

Fat Balls

Mozart’s Starling

Robin

Starlings

Starlings in the USA

Vinkensetting

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18 responses to “The Seagull Has Landed

  1. They are very protective aren’t they? When they were nesting here in Gib they would often swoop down on us. I learned to walk under the trees so they didn’t have such a clear view of attack.

  2. We had a pair of swallows who decided to build their nests made of mud right over our patio. I started knocking the nests down and they would rebuild. Then it got to where they would dive bomb me when I went out in the yard. I got to wearing a hard hat to go out and I was their only target. Others could walk out there without being harassed. Strange, messy birds.

    • I rather like it when I get a nest in the garden but I’m not so happy about the seagulls, although to be fair to them they haven’t been messy!

      • I, too, love having birds take up residence, but the swallows made a huge mess and in such a bad location. When we moved, we put up little bird houses for a different variety of swallows that didn’t build the mud nests. It was a delight to watch them swoop in the air catching bugs.

  3. Want to swap your herring gulls for a pair of Indian mynahs? On second thoughts, you can have the mynahs for free.

  4. Love that shot of the gull taking ownership of your car, Andrew. I still hold a grudge against the one that stole my ice cream in St. Ives. :)

  5. what about the poo on your car. This dissolves the metal coating and can do lots of damage.
    Between now and next breeding season find some sort of device that will let off bangs, beeps or smoke ..maybe this will discourage them.

    Seagulls are big and aggressive and best seen from a pair of binoculars

  6. Miss Whiplash says “Between now and next breeding season find some sort of device that will let off bangs, beeps or smoke ..maybe this will discourage them.”

    Mmm, maybe, just a remote maybe.

    But one thing for sure: it will “discourage” the NEIGHBOURS all right!

  7. OMG those feet are scary.

  8. Impressive blog you have!! thanks for stopping by mine!

  9. Ha, ha. So now they have not only taken over your backyard but have SPIED on your life and life-style. I see they favour driving a VW. Good choice for them; not for you. (giggles uproariously)

  10. Ah the joys of living in the “suburbia” near the waters :D sharing residence can get quite competitive :D I do the same with possums :D

  11. Well written !
    A male oriole and I had a bit of a close encounter while he had an affair with his reflection in my window. It does offer close up photo opportunities.

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