distress

7.11.19 ~ my gull friend landing after a scuffle

This time I brought my camera to the beach, in hopes of seeing my gull friend with the mangled leg again. He was sitting on the highest rock, resting. Both of the benches along the sidewalk where we usually sit were occupied so we went to a bench on the rocks between Tyler House and the water. It’s kind of nice there anyway because it’s in the shade and there is a dip in the boulders creating a watering hole the gulls frequent for drinks.

As we were eating it sounded like some kind of scuffle was happening around the side of the house, with several gulls crying. Excited human voices were in the mix. Perhaps one of the gulls stole a hot dog and the others fought him for it. I think my friend was involved because when the calls died down he flew around the corner and landed in front of us, crying with great distress. And he went on crying for quite a long time. He was shuddering terribly, too.

After a long while — maybe after he was finished telling us the story? — he sat down and was quiet and seemed content to watch us eat. When I was finished I went over to him and sat on the rock with him. We communed for quite a while and I got a few pictures.

And then he suddenly stood up and started crying again. I looked to my left and saw a very large, menacing great black-backed gull standing there, staring my gull down. It flew off when I turned my camera toward it. Maybe these two are fighting about something?

7.11.19 ~ my gull friend after confronting a great black-backed gull

After he calmed down I gave him a little pep talk and then we started to leave. He followed us to the sidewalk and then flew across the grass. It was if he was walking (flying) us to the car. I hope we see him again next week under better circumstances!

7.11.19 ~ see you next week, my gull friend!

15 thoughts on “distress”

  1. So sad that your friend was crying. How wonderful that you were communing and giving encouragement. Inter-species communication is so fascinating.

    1. After all these years I am still amazed that he seeks me out and seems to like spending time with me. And he’s taught me so many lessons in the process.

    1. Me, too. There’s probably something more to be learned from this encounter. It’s usually him who leaves first and this time he didn’t seem to want us to go.

  2. Your stories and pictures of your gull friend would make a great children’s book! Was he crying or perhaps shrieking in anger? Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Susan! I did a little research and found out that the cry is actually a territorial “long-call.” It can also mean, “I’m not moving.” Probably what my herring gull was telling the great black-backed gull.

  3. I enjoyed hearing about your visit with your gull friend, Barbara. It’s always fun to find new friends in the outdoor world. That’s a badly mangled foot, poor little guy.

    1. It’s hard for me to believe, Jet, but this is the ninth summer I’ve been friends with and photographing this herring gull. His determination to carry on in spite of his injury is inspiring to me.

  4. You definitely have “made contact” with this gull – a species other than human and yet, those eyes look so human it’s freaky. May he live a long life and continue this wonderful friendship. Your photos are astounding.

    1. Thank you so much, Pam! Sometimes he lets me get so close I think he would let me touch him, but I dare not cross that line. It’s an honor to just sit with him and make eye contact.

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