My favourite pair of gulls

Posted on Posted in Birds, Nature

Wildlife watching brings with it countless special moments. Sometimes it’s a close encounter, an unusual piece of behaviour or a particularly rare species. Sometimes, it’s the total opposite: familiarity.

I have quite a nostalgic nature. I like memories, which is probably why I find myself photographing everything! In addition, despite having a huge urge to explore, I never need to travel that far to be satisfied. For me, it’s always about more than the new; Being immersed in a place or a subject, getting to see the different sides to it and noticing more and more details time and time again. It’s my favourite thing! it’s about getting to know a place, a person or indeed an animal.

In this case it’s in the title – a pair of gulls. These two recently featured in a photo story on my instagram page, but I wanted to talk about them on here as well.

This pair can almost always be found together, on the Prince of Wales Pier in Falmouth. They have incredible eyesight – more than once I have seen them take off with hardly any warning only to be heading dreckly over to the other side of the pier to mob another gull of the food it had just found in the water. How on earth they notice these things so quickly is something I would love to figure out.

They’re also very territorial; guarding their stretch of railing in such a noble way. They may sometimes allow certain gulls to perch on posts, any that seem to be getting too comfortable or too close are soon chased off.

My feeling is that they are quite an elderly pair, as they seem very sure of themselves. Even around people. They know exactly how to read us.

But the most significant thing I have noticed about these two gulls is their bond. Never have I seen a pair of birds together so often. Never has a bird’s next move been more obvious! Take this sequence of shots for example: The slightly larger male took off alone, doing a round about observation of the area after some noisy, gull-related commotion. I could see him soaring along just below the pier, and got my camera ready and focused on the female. As he glided into the frame I fired my shots. Their bond is so strong that I knew he’d come straight back to her. I honestly didn’t realised the bond was so strong that, as you can tell from these images, she didn’t even flinch once as he landed beside her. Not once! Even though she couldn’t see him coming, even though she could sense that something was landing beside here – she just knew it was her mate. Complete and utter trust. It’s beautiful!

 

I literally love these gulls, and watching them together. I’m really looking forward to spring when I’m sure they will be showing off their bond even more excitedly!