Gull drama in office

VIDEO Do you remember that last year I brought you the sad story of the lesser black-backed gulls who had nested on the roof of our building in Lower Brook Street in Ipswich?When a photographer tried to picture them on their nest two of the youngsters got spooked, fluttered off over the side of the roof and fell down, suffering fatal injuries.

By Matthew Tacket

DO you remember that last year I brought you the sad story of the lesser black-backed gulls who had nested on the roof of our building in Lower Brook Street in Ipswich?

When a photographer tried to picture them on their nest two of the youngsters got spooked, fluttered off over the side of the roof and fell down, suffering fatal injuries.

Their parents had been swooping down on people visiting our offices, almost catching their hair as they were dive-bombed.

I don't know if the gull is seeking revenge on our photographer, but certainly he's back this year - and causing a considerable disturbance.

He appears regularly at the windows over our office - which are next to a flat roof - and bangs continually on the glass.

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His disruptive behaviour is causing great consternation among my colleagues in the office, with some claiming it is like working in a scene from the Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds.

The most sensible explanation we can come up with is that he can see his reflection in the tinted glass and is trying to attack himself - but we are seriously worried that he might actually smash through the glass.

If you want to see the full extent of the disruption he can cause, see the video on our website at www.eveningstar.co.uk

While on the subject of gulls, have you noticed how they are invading our towns more and more these days?

It used to be that they would only come inland when it was mucky at sea - except for a few small black-headed gulls that would be found inland all the time.

Now huge herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls have set up home in Ipswich. When a herring gull decides to check out my bird table, it's astonishing how fast the songbirds take cover.

One of my colleagues insists he's seen a much rarer great black backed gull swooping around the area.

We can all recognise a seagull - but it takes an expert to always recognise the different kinds of gulls that you see.

When I go to Minsmere, there are often Mediterranean gulls on The Scrape. They have been pointed out to me, but for the life of me I still can't see the difference between them and the very common black-headed gulls!

The size is usually a giveaway, but unless you see the gulls next to each other, it isn't easy to tell which they are.

The trick with lesser and great black-backed gulls is to look at the legs - lesser black backed gulls have yellow legs while the greater species have red legs.

n. Have you had problems with misbehaving birds? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Gulls around Ipswich:

Black-headed gulls: Smallest, and most common. At this time of the year the black head gives instant recognition.

Common gulls: Anything but! If you think you've seen one of these, its probably a small herring gull. Yellow legs

Herring gulls: The typical seaside gull, and the largest you will see in big numbers around Ipswich. Red legs.

Lesser black-backed gull: Slightly smaller than a herring gull, with a very dark grey back, almost black. Yellow legs.

Great black-backed gull: Largest gull in this part of the world, but breeds further north. Red legs.