Meeting old “friends”

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The culprit in full flow

We are surrounded by a lot of birds so the individual can sometimes be lost but even in this great mass of ornithology there are individuals that stand out. Sometimes for good reasons and sometime not.There are one or two eiders that always nest in the same place and shags on the same ledges that you feel you know them as individuals. Yesterday I met an old friend, or more of an acquaintance, a lovely herring gull on Rona. Bex and I have started our cliff nesting birds counting and I was off to count my northern most guillemot and razorbill plot on Rona. To count the plot I have a set position to sit at to get the same view of the plot each time but there is a herring gull that has other ideas because its nest is close to the counting spot. Most gulls will just lift off when you come close and yell a lot but this one is much meaner and has drawn blood in the past in one of our numerous meetings. This time it wouldn’t let me sit down at the counting spot and before I had even reached it the gull was dive bombing me, had dislodged my cap a couple of times and dropped a large poo down my back and neck. So to count the plot I gradually had to shift down the slope a little bit, cowering to keep me head below the level of the highest part of the rock for shelter and all the time could feel the warm trickle of poo down my neck and the regular clip of gull feet on hat as it swooped past. And it was wash day yesterday. And I only have to count that plot another 4 times in the next 2 weeks.

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