Gull is a scavenger that eats ducklings

Re the herring gull.

I live in the country and get up to the sound of doves and woodpigeons cooing every morning. Very quiet down our street - no cars, buses or lorries and in late April or May I get to hear the cuckoo.

Living in the country as I do I always put food out for the birds especially in harsh winters like the one we’ve just had. Most species are attracted to my feeding station like blackbirds, starlings, sparrows, robins, ducks and woodpigeons.

However all these birds feeding doesn’t go unnoticed and I have a regular visit from a sparrow-hawk. It regularly takes blackbirds, woodpigeons and any small birds that are there at the time.

These birds, like owls, kestrels and buzzards feed on live prey. It’s a fact of life, if they didn’t feed on live prey the species would die out.

Before I retired I worked on a holiday park and we had a large boating lake.

The lake was stocked with fish and as we were close to the sea herring gulls and cormorants noticed this. We also had ducks, geese, moorhens and lots of wildlife. A cormorant would regularly land, dive, come up with a fish then fly away. When spring approached and birds were nesting, there were nests all over the place, foxes would come at night and take their eggs.

Some ducks lucky enough to hatch off, were seen swimming round the lake with as many as 14 ducklings. But alas, the herring gull noticed also. I’ve seen them take a whole brood of ducklings in a couple of days.

The herring gull is a scavenger and will eat anything dead or alive.

T Arliss

Green Lane