Just why have so many gulls decided to leave their seaside homes for life in the big towns and cities? Sharing urban spaces with us humans has not made for an easy relationship. The birds are loved or hated. Accused of tearing open rubbish bags, and
smearing walls and pavements with their poo. They ‘steal’ food from peoples’ hands with low-level ‘attacks’ and fill the sky above us with their ear-splitting squawks and screeching.
Peter Rock has been studying and ringing these seabirds for many years and l have had an opportunity of talking to him by Zoom from his Bristol home. In half an hour’s worth of conversation, l agreed with him that we hadn’t even scratched the surface of the subject.
After we had run out of free podcast time, Peter sent me an email which contained the following:
“In the wild, the gulls are out of sight and out of mind; in town, they’re in your face. How to deal with this situation is, first and foremost, through understanding. I am always happy to explain things. Just to say, Bath is only one of several hundred colonies in the UK and we in Britain are not alone in hosting urban gulls – many other countries around the world do so, too…
I do the science and my information is available to all (you can, I’m sure, look up my 2022 report to BaNES). Mine is the only work of its kind anywhere in Europe. It is based around the Severn Estuary (because that’s where I happen to live), except for when I travel to find the birds I’ve ringed along the western seaboard of continental Europe which I’ll be doing later in the autumn.
I hope you’ll get the response you’re hoping for from this BlogSpot.”
You can find this podcast conversation about urban gulls on Spotify. Just look for Wyatt’s Place and this chat is the sixth podcast chat l have enjoyed so far.