Low flying birds near O.R. Tambo Airport…

I had to drop off a parcel for my son at the Anglo hanger at the airport. Leaving the security area I saw 2133 Grey-headed Gulls. (Don’t you believe that I actually counted them, but there were thousands.)

The sky was overcast so the photos weren’t good enough to post, but they were good enough to view and zoom into on the computer…. and to my surprise I noticed thousands of chicks in various stages of growth.

I returned to the site today (24th May) the sun was shining and I made a few captures….


Back in July 2012 I posted on this bird, (Click here to see the post) who would have thought I’d find their breeding ground.



Just look at all the chicks….


They take to flight fairly quickly when you move about…


But I’m not joking when I say there are thousands, if I was clever I’d be able to post my video clip, but I’m too stupid to get it on the blog…



When they circled above my head I thought they might be looking for food… or wanting to crap on my head… but when reading up on them… they were coming closer to attack me… and I quote from    http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/birds/laridae/larus_cirrocephalus.htm

  • The chicks flee the nest if disturbed and can run freely within a day of hatching, while their parents may attack intruders (such as humans) if they get to close.

I think these wanted to do more than make a deposit on my head… !!!!!


As you might be able to make out from the above photo that they are nesting at the end of a Gold Driving Range, I wonder how many have a close encounter with a golf ball or mistake a ball for an egg.???


45 thoughts on “Low flying birds near O.R. Tambo Airport…

  1. You seem to have a knack for attracting wild things in great numbers Bulldog! What a lucky find. Those images of the chicks were delightful.

    • I was so surprised by this.. I still have trouble believing it… been back twice since the photos, find the site so interesting … even to the fact the grass is cut… do they cut while they lay the eggs and when the chicks are out they all run out of the way??? I have to find out, but can’t find anyone to talk to… got too close and the birds get pretty upset…

  2. It’s amazing finding all these birds in one place! And I just love all those cute little chicks 😀

    Do you know how to upload your video to YouTube? If you can do that you can put the link here and we can watch it xxx

    • I figured out how to upload the vid… the only problem I took it in the wrong format and next time I’ll take with my vid camera that I have with me in my camera bag at all times… (hardly ever use it)

  3. This is a very interesting post, Rob. How unexpected! I know what you mean about posting videos on your blog. There are so many tasks I need to master, and that is one that I haven’t yet learned.

    • It is actually quite easy I believe if you take the clip in the correct format, which I didn’t… oh well next time I’ll use my vid camera and it will work…thanks Naomi…

  4. Rob, do you have a YouTube account? If you post your video on YT you can copy the URL then go to Add Media on your edit page and Insert YouTube. You might have some techie followers who can explain it better to you. I enjoyed your stills!

  5. What an incredible find. My little one is absolutely going to LOVE this post. She is the bird house builder I wrote about and is so into all your bird postings. The sweet little ones are adorable. Thank you, Bulldog!! As always, awesome post.

    • Thanks Skye… it was an incredible find… in fact I couldn’t believe my eyes… when I took Linda to show her she could not believe it either… If someone told me I would find so many together there I would have thought them mad… I would have expected they would be near water…

  6. I really do chuckle at the similarities of things you and I see in completely opposite parts of the world! I did a post a long while back with some pics of Royal Terns flying low, and sitting en masse on the beach. January is their migration month here and if you’re present when the flock descends it really IS an unparallel experience!

    • We are worlds apart in distance but so alike in climate and now bird habits… how wonderful… and they doubt we will find life on other planets…

  7. Lots of flying things together, golf balls, gulls and aircraft. I wander what the airfield use to keep gulls away. Those at the end of the golf range would be safe from me…lol.

    • They apparently are not a problem at the airport… I did notice every time a plane revved up its engines for take off they all got airborne and flew away from the noise…

  8. Great shots, Bulldog.

    I always get astonished when I see lots of birds in a small area, but your shots beat mine ‘hands down’. What an amazing sight.

    • No I asked if they are a problem at the airport and I’m told not at all… there is a marsh land nearby that apparently they visit for food… as well as the rubbish bins at the local shopping centers…

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