24th November, 2019 ‘Free movement’ of gulls.

The unprecedented levels of rainfall throughout October and November (particularly) have led to much flooding with ground saturated and a resulting build-up of surface water. In Pearson Park, Hull this has resulted in a large percentage of the Park’s grass areas becoming shallow lakes showing, as water always does, the slightly lower-lying areas in a surface that normally appears quite level. Ducks, geese and gulls clearly found this new environment very appealing, the ducks and geese normally on the Park pond moving en-bloc to a newly created pool while another water area became colonised by a large flock of gulls. Whether this was just the attraction of the new or that the grass base to the pool presented new opportunities I can only guess as we have not learned to talk their languages (sadly).

Slightly further afield on Oak Road Playing Fields (otherwise known as George V p.f. as they were being developed by Hull City Council early in his reign) even larger areas of standing water had formed, these colonised by thousands, literally, of seagulls.

Of course many gulls spend little time at the coast especially so if they can find ample food supplies in urban areas, plus flying out to the countryside when any field is being ploughed or cultivated this unearthing grubs and worms, and nesting sites on the ledges of buildings and the like.

This theme reminds me of Twigmoor Woods in North Lincolnshire, south-east of Scunthorpe. Back in the inter-war years it was a destination for many bus-trips so people could explore the diverse plants/shrubs and trees but also the bird-life, in particular a colony of black headed gulls living in and around the ponds (now mostly dried-up) all through the year and nesting in the trees. I was told this by the late Miles Hopper, naturalist and writer, who lived in Barton.

(will continue theme of Twigmoor Woods and woodland around Scunthorpe next time).