Monday, 7 March 2016

Opportunists.

What opportunists birds are.   I never cease to be amazed by their antics.

If there is road-kill then you can guarantee that a member of the corvid family will be there while the corpse is still warm - no messing about.   They seem to appear out of thin air.

The same goes for the seagulls when a field is being ploughed.   They are mostly white or light grey birds, so easy to see.   But if you look around when the farmer begins with his plough you will hardly see a seagull, yet but by the time he gets to the far side of the field there will be a hundred - or two - following him.

And I noticed today, on my drive to the supermarket, that they have a new pastime.   We have had so much rain this winter that almost every field (and large front garden) has anything from a puddle to a small lake of water waiting to drain off.   And every one which I passed on my drive has been colonised by seagulls - floating about and really enjoying it.

When I was a child we rarely saw a seagull, and if we did we would say that there was going to be a storm at sea and they had all come inland to escape the worst of it.   Now they nest on our moor and there are always hundreds around.

At this time of the year the cock pheasants are building up their harems and rather than tolerating one another at our bird table, one - obviously the dominant one - has taken over.   So far he has four 'ladies' and he guards them jealously.    And one of them (I know it is always the same one as she has a distinctive white flash on her head) is obviously going to nest in our garden when the time is right.   In the meantime she spends her day between the bird feeders (there is always plenty of food for them there as the farmer scatters corn), and the walled garden.   She is taking no chances.

18 comments:

Dawn McHugh said...

Seagulls are becoming pests in some areas ripping open rubbish bags, there are hundreds of them found in land fill sites, I often wonder if these ones have ever been out to sea.

John Gray said...

Looking after four wives?
I couldnt even imagine it

Hildred said...

I find that all the little birds and the quail know exactly when the feeders have been filled!

angryparsnip said...

I love that the one lady pheasant knows where to nest and eat !

cheers, parsnip

Terry and Linda said...

We don't have gulls here, but there ARE gulls close by! The birds are so much fun and tell us so many things if we just pay attention.

Linda

Heather said...

We love watching the birds and I think they watch us so as not to miss the opportunity of a delicacy or two. There is a blackbird who waits each morning outside the garage door for my husband to serve a birdy breakfast, and each time I do a bit of gardening a robin appears in search of goodies which I have uncovered. Very occasionally we have had a seagull in the garden but they usually keep to more open areas. We do get visits from crows and I love their raucous calls from a roof or treetop.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

The local landfill is overrun with them on a busy day. Many of those birds are greater black backed gulls, which are huge, powerful gulls, but even they looked small compared with the young glaucous gull that was there for a few days.

Wilma said...

Oddly, we don't have many seagulls here on the beach facing the Caribbean Sea. But when we do see the gulls, they are far out over the water, opportunistically following a fishing boat!

Midmarsh John said...

We also used to say that gulls appearing inland was a sign of bad weather out at sea.

I have an idea that our old land fill sites first attracted so many to stay inland. One school I taught at was very near such a site which always had hundreds of gulls scavenging. The playing field was between the school and the site and we often had to try clearing the gulls from it before the children could go on.

donna baker said...

I wonder about the gulls Pat. We are hundred of miles from the ocean, but the gulls come here every winter and feast at the landfills and parking lots for handouts. I don't remember that until the last few years.

Mac n' Janet said...

We use to say that about gulls too, that they knew a storm was coming. At a falconry we went to they said that birds kept getting hit by cars because they were following too close to them and getting the bugs they were killing.

Toni said...

What a pleasant picture. My shoulders relaxed while I read your post. Thank you.

Robin Mac said...

We have egrets rather than seagulls following the harvester in the cane fields. They come from nowhere also.We have great puddles of water everywhere here too after 20 inches of rain in the last week. The sun is shining today which is a lovely surprise.

Pondside said...

The gulls in our part of the world are like squirrels every where else! I have to admit, though, that I love the sound of a gulls cry in the wind.

Cro Magnon said...

We have a sudden increase in our Magpie population, and the Crows don't like it one bit. Yesterday I watched a very long and violent aerial 'dog-fight' between two of them. What the Magpie had done to upset the Crow so much I can't imagine.

Derek Faulkner said...

Having lived alongside the sea all of my life, the mournful cry of Herring Gulls is part of my DNA and is a sound that I love to hear and is as much the sound of the seaside as the bubbling calls of Curlews are to the moors.

Librarian said...

I live nearly 800 km from the nearest sea (North Sea) but we do get small kinds of river gulls. The nearest river (Neckar) is maybe a mile away from my house. When I went to school, after the break I loved looking out of the classroom window (instead of paying attention to the teacher...), watching the gulls cleaning the playground of our dropped bits of sandwiches.
They don't have the same voices as the big seagulls, and so it is only the big ones I will forever associate with the lovely Scarborough holidays my late husband and I used to share.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Seems those gulls really are wide spread! Thanks to everyone.