The antics of these birds seems to fit this week’s photo challenge – “weight / weightless” – show us the effect of gravity.

flight 2

The noise levels have risen over the past few days as Silver Gulls congregate outside our windows. They rest on the fence and beach between impromptu flights, swooping and gliding, back and forth.

flight 6

There are fledglings in the group. Their plumage is speckled and they are not as sleek as the adult birds. Adults have orange / red bill, legs and eye ring. Apparently, the darker the red, the older the bird.

flight 5

The group at our place consists of a few young and several adults. It as if a group of “aunties” are keeping watch and shouting instructions to the youngsters as they attempt and master various flight techniques.

As our square building sits alone on this stretch of coastline, the air currents probably provide a good training ground. I have noticed a few emergency landings in the water. Their antics remind me of the dramas and tensions of learning to drive. And there is the ongoing chatter and squabbles with their neighbours, who also have young, learning the ropes. Pacific gulls, oyster catchers, lapwings, heron and ducks.

flight 1flight 4flight 7

The Silver Gull is found throughout Australia and New Zealand. It is smaller than the European Herring Gull although similar in appearance.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the following info:

Behaviour – The silver gull has a sharp voice consisting of a variety of calls. The most common call is a harsh, high pitched ‘kwarwh’.

 Feeding – The silver gull naturally feeds on worms, fish, insects and crustaceans. It is a successful scavenger, allowing increased numbers near human settlements.

 Breeding – Breeding occurs from August to December. The nest is located on the ground and consists of seaweed, roots, and plant stems. The nests may be found in low shrubs, rocks and jetties. Typical clutch size is one to three eggs.