Tuesday, 13 August 2019

The gulls next door

I first noticed a pair of Great Black-backed Gulls on the roof behind our bungalow in June 2017 when two adults and two large chicks were seen on 28th. Birds are only visible when on our side of the roof so it wasn't a total surprise to see three chicks on 30th. Three were present, and growing until 23 July when only two were seen until 27th. No birds were noted after this and it was assumed that as there had been a lot of flapping the family had moved off.
three on the roof - 30 June 2017
breakfast - 04 July 2017
early flaps - 09 July 2017
growing and learning (sticks aren't edible) - 19 July 2017
almost fully grown - 22 July 2017
The next day they'd moved to a nearby roof, none were seen on 24th and on 25th I saw an adult and two youngsters flying low over Middle Road. It's likely they all fledged.
In 2018 a pair of gulls were seen on the roof on 2 June with one sitting on a nest. On 5 June two small chicks were seen and watched slowly growing to 27 June when I went to Peru. On my return on 31 July both adults and the two chicks, now fully grown, were on the roof. From 5-7 August just one adult and one juvenile were seen and with no subsequent sightings, I assumed they had moved on.
first sign of chicks - 05 June 2018
two, not being able to see in the nest they might have been a couple of days old
out of the nest - 06 June 2018
hungry - 13 June 2018
growing - 16 June 2018
overgrown chicks -22 June 2018
fully grown but still a big baby - 25 July 2018
juvenile plumage and about to leave - 01 August 2018
In 2019 one Great Black-backed Gull was seen on the roof intermittently from 08 May with two on 22nd and one sitting on a the nest, which had been built rather surreptitiously, from 23 May. The first (and only) chick was seen on 26 June. Not being able to see into the nest I'm not sure if other eggs had been predated. There is a gang of Carrion Crows seen regularly in the area which are quite good at breaking into egg boxes and stealing eggs left by the milkman on our front doorstep (at least until we put out a plastic box for them). The chick grew to full size but disappeared following gale force winds on the night of 10 August. On 11th both parents were on the roof until at least 22:00 hrs calling for it. One was present, calling on the morning of 12 August and again briefly on 13th. A week or two building up last year's nest and laying eggs, 34 days sitting and 46 days feeding their youngster was sadly to no avail. Hopefully they'll return next year and be more successful.
both adults on the roof - 24 May 2019
hot on the nest - 21 May 2019
still sitting - 24 June
hatched after 34 days - 26 June 2019
hungry - 30 June 2019
bigger - 06 July 2019
breakfast - 14 July 2019
with mum and dad - 22 July 2019
27 July 2019
investigating - 06 August 2019
almost fully grown - 08 August 2019
46 days old and sheltering from the storm 10 August 2019
missing - 11 August 2019
losing hope - 12 August 2019

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