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Four Herring Gulls

The RSPB website describes the Herring Gull as ‘large noisy gulls’ and mentions twice that they can be found near to rubbish tips. If the RSPB struggles to find something nice to say about them you know that it’s not the most loved of birds. Interestingly it says their numbers have declined over the past 25 years, yet there are still 750,000 of them in the UK during the winter. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them are in Hastings.




6 responses to “Four Herring Gulls”

  1. Ro avatar

    I love this! I certainly feel less than charitable about the local gulls at 3.30am in the early summer when they begin their caterwauling (being a light sleeper). But when people rage on about the “seagull menace”; “aggressive seagulls” etc (they can’t tell the difference between our local gulls – we have blackheaded gulls, greater blackbacked gulls and fulmars here in Hastings, as well as herring gulls) I always point out that they were here before we were, and also – that they are cliff dwelling scavenging birds and they are only a nuisance to us because we have given them unlimited opportunities through our filthy habit of discarding food, and putting out our garbage in flimsy black back bags overnight. I find it amazing that these birds have, with a few generations, and with tiny brains, learnt how to forage for food by pecking into the trash bags. A treasured memory is of seeing a herring gull, having pecked his access hole in the black bag, extract a morsel and retreat to enjoy it and then seeing a starling take advantage of the gulls temporary withdrawal to dash into the hole and find something yummy for himself.

    I also saw, from a bus temporarily halted at Silverhill, a herring gull checking out a bakers shop. He hung about outside for a while, then – when there were no customers in the shop – he nipped inside and came out triumphantly carrying a bag of crisps on his beak!

  2. andyo1976 avatar

    Nicely caught! Brighton has its fare share of the Gull’s too. A lot of people see these birds as vermin! I think they are magnificent birds, noisey, messy, mucky I agree. Thats our fault really with rubbish waste etc, forget them ripping bags open, just watch them out to sea and in storm conditions, iv’e rescued a few in my time and been shat on by a few in the past. Thats a hazard of living by the sea…

  3. compellingphotography avatar

    Thanks for the comments Ro and Andyo1976. They can be pests that’s for sure, but spend a few days inland away from the sea and what is one of the things I miss? The sound of the seagulls!

  4. Steve Barnes avatar

    Great photo! Couldn’t imagine a world without seagulls. I was born in Brighton, so I’m used to them and they do make great elements in some of my photos!

    1. compellingphotography avatar

      Thanks Steve, I think there are gulls in most of my photos, an ever present part of the coastal landscape. I might start keeping a gull count!

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