went out into garden about 5pm to find sky in every direction full of gulls
No identification made yet.
No interactions present.
These are large gulls, so would be herring or lesser black-backed, probably the latter as they are very common around Bristol. Probably both actually. I expect they are catching flying ants, which often emerge on thundery afternoons.
I agree with Bob, I've seen gulls behave like this before when the flying ants come out. It is weird to see them swooping and diving, more like swallows than gulls. I for one do not associate such flying skill with gulls, but then I was brought up on Richard Bach's book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull!
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yeah was quite amazed by the numbers, and they where virtually silent.
The flying ants were definitely around last week too. Didn't know that gulls were that interested in them though, gulls round our way are generally too fat for acrobatics!
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Gulls are the greatest of opportunistic feeders, they will literally eat anything but do seem to have developed a definite technique for catching flying ants. I had assumed they did this everywhere but perhaps not. It would be interesting to hear from anyone else who has ant-catching gulls in their area.
Lat/Lng: 51.4, -2.6
OS grid ref: ST5970