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George

Common gull adventures

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Last week I discovered a common gull's nest along the coast near Kintradwell. I walk along there 2 or 3 times a week and the mother is getting used to me now. Today she didn't even want to leave the nest as she knows she can trust me. She did let me take a photo though. Here was the nest last week with 3 eggs.

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And here was the nest earlier today after mum toddled off a few yards. She was back on the nest before I'd gone 100 yards. Of course, disturbing nests can get you in trouble with the law, so if you don't know the law and don't know what you're doing, stay well away from nesting birds.

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Visited mom yesterday and she's doing fine. Doesn't even bother getting off her nest when I come along now :classic_laugh:

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Exciting! Two of the eggs are hatching. Here you can see two cute wee beaks as the chicks break their way out into the world.

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This morning we have two hatchlings looking very comfortable and cosy with one egg still to hatch.

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The third egg has hatched, family is doing well.

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The chicks have abandoned the nest already. They will be running around the rocks now, but they will be far too small to find. I'll have to wait until they grow a bit and will be too big to hide between the rocks. Mum is still around the area squawking warnings when I show up, so they're around somewhere.

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I did find an oyster catcher nest nearby with a single egg. I'll keep an eye on it, see how things go.

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Look who I spotted today along the shore hiding in the rocks. It's one of the common gull chicks. They're getting big. I didn't see the other two, but they will be there somewhere.

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The oyster catcher egg hasn't hatched yet, but you can see from these two photos, one taken yesterday and one earlier today, both from the same angle, that mom is turning the egg to keep it warm. Won't be long now.

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Discovered these 2 common gull chicks hiding amongst the shingle and rocks on the shore earlier. You really have to watch where you're putting your feet as they are extremely hard to see. If you're walking coasts at this time of year, it's better to stay off the shingle and keep to the sand.

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The terns have started nesting. I don't think they have laid any eggs yet, but I guess they are not far away.

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The oyster catcher is hatching! You can see the little hole in the shell. There should be a chick in the nest tomorrow.

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And here's a close crop taken from the above photo so you can see that the egg is cracking from the inside.

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Oyster catchers don't make nests as such, just lay their eggs on stones, but that's because the chicks are born with huge legs and they can run off within hours of hatching. Of course, this makes photographing the chicks a little difficult as they are good at hiding. I knew I'd need to be early if I wanted a chance of seeing the hatchling so set off before breakfast and hurried along the coast. Here he is! Look at the size of his feet!

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The common gull chicks are flying now. Time to say goodbye to all the chicks for another year. Here's one of them earlier this evening. I think he remembered me as he allowed me to get quite close and didn't seem to mind me being around. These two photos are of the same chick.

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