Living by the sea there is the continual calling of gulls… and in many inland areas there is the continual calling of gulls as they have spread inland scavenging, often at waste-disposal sites. We have mainly common gulls, but there are many others who are here, herring gulls and black-headed gulls for example. At this time of year, especially on warm summer evenings when the ants are flying, the gulls circle round with their mouths open, having dinner on the wing! They don’t only eat the ants (getting almost drunk on the formic acid they contain) but they use ants to relieve the problem of mites. Gulls (and other birds) will land on an area where there are lots of ants and nestle down on the ground, wriggling around, encouraging the ants to bite them or be crushed against their skin and feathers, releasing chemicals which affect the mites and other bugs. These chemicals also have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties… I wonder how the gulls know that?!

Photo0202[1]Opportunist rubbish collectors!

Oi! It's mine!
Oi! It’s mine!


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