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A seagull's story, from chick to adult

Seagulls - love 'em or loathe 'em they're part of life in a seaside town. I will admit that they can be an overpowering pest - just sit on the seafront on a hot summer's day with some fish and chips and you'll swiftly feel the steely stare of beady eyes on you and your lunch. They're becoming more confident, too - put your fish and chips down for a mere second and you're likely to find it's disappeared down the gullet of a bird - along with the box and your chip fork (I'm posh, I use a chip fork).

Having said that, when you see a baby seagull, you can't help but think it's cute, right?

As spring approaches, those of us who own properties around the town may find ourselves with seagulls nesting on our roofs. I say "some" because I know that there are people out there who go to great lengths to stop this from happening. I can understand that decision if you've got small children - seagulls with young chicks can be highly territorial. In the Hazell house, we took the decision to glue a live eagle to our roof to scare the seagulls away. I wouldn't advise you following our lead though, quite frankly - feeding Cecil every night with a long stick is such a chore!...

Today I'd like to share with you some photographs that my late father, Brian Hazell, took from his roof window, chronicling the movements of a family of seagulls nesting on the rooftop and the journey of a baby seagull - from birth to flying the nest. Enjoy!

A proud mother with her chick
Looking after the chick
Growing up
Mum and baby
Up on the roof
Catching some sun
Grown up
Spreading his wings
Flying practice
Lift off
Beginning the climb
Climbing to the top
Pre-flight checks
Take off!

Alastair Hazell

 
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