Gulls will be gulls

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Get your earplugs ready 'cos here they come again!

The annual influx of visitors has subsided for the moment for obvious reasons. However the annual pilgrimage of another ‘breed’ of visitor has been totally unaffected by the pandemic and yes, despite the freezing weather, our feathered friends, the seagulls, are back with a vengeance.

They didn’t seem to like the snow and for a short while were conspicuous by their absence but, now that the white stuff is melting, the gulls have reclaimed their territories, ready for their mating season.

Keeping watch, or staking a claim?

The rooftops are alive with activity and in some quarters you could be excused for thinking they have been having tap dancing lessons. What a racket when they stir into action, even Anton du Beke would be impressed by their fancy footwork!

They look cute when chicks. Shame they have to grow bigger!

Then there is the screeching, squawking and calling as the mating ritual takes shape, territories are marked and partners chosen and, if last year is anything to go by, the aerial pantomime will continue throughout the spring and summer months.

A proud parent enjoying the summer sunshine last year.

Sitting on Strand Quay yesterday I overheard a visitor, who had just bought some chips, commenting to her partner on “How cute these birds are” and promptly threw them some chips, watched the fight take place between the greedy recipients who then decided to sit together as a pack, awaiting their next tasty morsel.

Our feathered friends are beginning to return, let’s hope visitors don’t feed them.

When the chips take their natural journey through the gulls’ intestines, they will then share the recycled spoils with whatever target they fancy hitting. But, if one of those targets was a visiting tourist, they might not share their lunch with the gulls again.

Cute as they are when young, it doesn’t take long before the chicks turn into teenagers, then fully fledged adult birds, who rule the roost throughout the summer season. Something to look forward to?

Image Credits: Nick Forman , Bath city council .

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