Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tourists compete with Seagulls at Phillip Island

On Boxing Day we joined people from all around the world at Pt Grant, a place affectionately known by islanders as The Nobbies.  Here there were as many tourists as silver gulls -- and the people were almost as excited and noisy as the nesting seagulls!

Located at the western end of Phillip Island, this piece of rugged coastal scenery lures visitors who revel in the powerful scenery. Beds of succulent pigface creeper, with their pink and white flowers, contrast vividly against the steep black cliffs and the blue southern ocean.

Silver gull nests are built on the ground in areas of low vegetation.  These shallow, cup-shaped nests contain between one to four olive blotched eggs that take 21 to 27 days to hatch.  Parents regurgitating food for their chicks is a noisy process; likewise seagulls protecting their territory.

Seagulls are very adaptable. They are master scavengers and make themselves at home in many different environments: from rubbish dumps to pristine environments such as Pt Grant, at Phillip Island. I find their body language very interesting -- from the aggressive pose, to the alarm stance, to hunching, which precedes an attack. 


Human behaviour is equally interesting, and from the extensive raised walkways crowded with visitors, there was ample opportunity to listen and watch as people from every corner of the globe interacted and took in the powerful scenery.


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