On a recent beach walk I came upon these gulls appearing to play a little game on the water. I was fascinated by their behaviour as I had never noticed anything quite like it before. The water was fairly calm with occasional gentle waves rising and breaking on the shore. They sat on the water with their backs to the waves waiting for the wave to break, whereupon they flew up in the air and then immediately dropped after the wave had broken and passed on. They repeated this several times as I watched them.
They could have positioned themselves further back where they would rise and fall gently on the waves, but they seemed to prefer to be at the precise position where the waves broke.
To adopt a more logical view, they may have been intending to catch some little fish in the breaking wave. That’s what I originally thought they would be doing, but they appeared to be making no attempt to dive into the water.
Either a bad fishing day – no fish, or they really were just playing and enjoying the heatwave at the time.
A winter evening view of Mount Brandon from Cúl Dorcha Beach, Ballyferriter, West Kerry.
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