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.???

The Grey-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus)

I recently posted a blog and called it “Seagulls by the sea, what a strange place to find them” some bloggers enjoyed the humour, and commented as such. Now what a surprise for me.. I went to the Oliver Tambo airport.. to catch a photo or two of incoming aircraft, a passion of mine.

The surprise was to capture photos of seagulls, or more correctly the Grey-headed Gull near the airport. For those of you that have no idea where the O. Tambo airport is in South Africa, its situated on the high veld miles and miles from the sea. So did these guys fly in for a visit or are they lost? Actually they are found throughout the whole country.

The Grey-headed Gull is slightly larger than the Black-headed Gull at 42 cm length. The summer adult has a pale grey head, a grey body, darker in tone than the Black-headed, and red bill and legs. The black tips to the primary wing feathers have conspicuous white "mirrors". The under wing is dark grey with black wingtips. The grey hood is lost in winter, leaving just dark streaks.

Sexes are similar.

This gull takes two years to reach maturity. First year birds have a black terminal tail band, and more dark areas in the wings.

In flight, the wings are broader and held flatter than those of Black-headed Gull.

This is a noisy species, especially at colonies. The call is a raucous crow-like “caw, caw.”

First a few planes… one even grinning… and then the gulls… enjoy…

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