Seagull Season at Cleveleys
Added 19 March 2011
At Visit Cleveleys we've mentioned that the seagulls known as Homer and wife are back on begging duty to get into peak breeding season for the annual nest building event on the chimney pot.
Homer waiting for breakfast
A week or two ago there was an article in the Telegraph about Gulls with lots of fascinating stuff that we thought you might like to share.
We have our resident population but apparently at this time of year flocks of them migrate back north to breed, which is seen as a sign of spring, back to cliffs and beaches. Which is probably why we aren't aware, we have no cliffs and the beaches are too public.
Last years baby gull, posing for a photo
The numbers of gulls are in decline and we should be helping these creatures to survive. The UK population has fallen from 750,000 pairs in 1993 to 378,000 pairs now. We have six common species, of which one is the Herring Gull, but none of them are in fact 'seagulls' as they are found just as much inland as on the sea.
Young herring gulls are just about the only birds in the world that can fire their parents when they are chicks. Some youngsters decide that their parents aren't offering them enough food and move next door, start begging for food and hope for a forced adoption.
Gulls on the beach nr Rossall School
Amazingly, several species are known to form female-female pairs in colonies of normal pairs. Even more bizarely, they set up home and attempt to raise a family using sperm donated by a neighbouring male (by copulation) and some of these pairings actually work.
They live socialbly in colonies and it's been shown that sleep passes over a flock in waves, with each bird monitoring the vigilance of its neighbours.
Someone drop a chip?
Yes, they are noisy and brash and in large numbers can be overbearing. However, they have a strong survival instinct and that's what they are doing. We have destroyed their cliffs and beaches where they used to nest, so opportunistically they use our roofs. The seas are overfished so they scavange on landfill. The sound of cawing gulls is as much a part of the British seaside as the smell of fish and chips - and no one would dream of getting rid of chippies!