Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Begging for bread

Sitting in the car at Newburn this lunchtime I opened the window to dissipate the smell of curry sauce and instantly attracted a flock of Black headed gulls who had posted a guard on the lifebelt housing for just such an occurrence and now left the river en masse in the hope of a snack. It seems we humans have conditioned birds at locations like this to associate an open car window with food, most likely chips! Pull up in any car park particularly on the coast and the greedy hoards will gather. Quite a boon for photographers but possibly not the best lifestyle choice for a wild bird.

Further along the riverside path a dog walker stopped every fifty yards or so and emptied bags of bread which instantly became a feeding frenzy of gulls. I was reminded of all the careful requests from the media over the cold spell to put out food..... oh but not bread. Will someone tell the birds that bread isn't good for them. There I was two weeks ago at a frozen Newburn feeling sorry for the ducks so I got out the Swan Geese and Duck pellets bought specially for such an occasion and distributed them freely only for two female Mallards to gaze at them disdainfully before trying a couple and deciding these were the brussel sprouts of bird food.
This afternoon some goodly sole at Briar Dene had put down a pile of grain and the Med Gull was seeing off all the Black heads before a Common chappy turned up and usurped the feast.

Then on the way home I called in at Killingworth Lake to witness more bread feeding, this time to Swans Geese and Ducks. The waiters had to be quick on their feet as anybody who is familiar with the Swans here knows that they're not backward at coming forward. Indeed I missed my best shot when one such individual put his head through the car window not appreciating that I had a zoom not macro lens attached!!

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