A little bit of a wildlife adventure today. On my way back to work after lunch I noticed a lesser black-backed gull resting on a grass bank outside the medical school building. It seemed fairly relaxed, and wasn’t in any apparent distress, but it was odd to see it there. Like the more numerous herring gulls, the adults should be busy flying patrols and feeding their chicks (there are two lesser black-backed chicks on the med school roof). It was struggling to raise itself up and I thought perhaps it had injured a leg. Other than that it looked ok to my untrained eye.
I took a number of photos before heading back to my office.
As I said, I’d assumed it would recover and make its way back to its roost, but I did check later on and it was still there mid afternoon and, if anything, was more placid than earlier. Something clearly wasn’t right. I made a quick phone call to a local rescue centre who asked if I could bring it in, and explained to me how best to transport it.
A quick email across the site secured the loan of a sturdy plastic storage box and lid. Pop the box over the top of the gull, slide the lid underneath and secure with tape. Then a five minute drive and the gull was safely delivered to the wildlife centre. They took one look and diagnosed botulism poisoning (an occupational hazard for gulls) which they are confident they can treat successfully.
So a good outcome it seems, for this bird at least. And some decent photos of one of my favourite gulls.
Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.