Party Time for the Seagulls

Last year I posted the story below about the flying ants and the seagulls. Well, on seeing the numerous seagulls gliding around in the clear blue sky (against the beautiful backdrop of the moon) this morning and seeing them wandering around on the pavements in our road this evening, I realised that yes, its that day of the year again - the day when the flying ants emerge and the gulls and other birds have a feast day.

I tried to capture a photo but couldn't really do it justice - but here's a pic from today and an action reply of last year's blog post on the very subject.  

This is the hottest day of the year so far and tomorrow will be even hotter, so it is no wonder that the ants chose today to emerge from their nests ...

* * * * * 

This afternoon and this evening, the sky above the house was full of seagulls, silently swirling in circles.  A strange sight to see so many in the same place at the same time, and even stranger that they were so quiet!  (Just the sound of a light aircraft passing by)

Seagulls swarming

I did a little research and was fascinated to find out that they are having a major feast day today on flying ants.  Apparently, all of the ants wait for a hot and humid day when the air is still and the winged ants then launch themselves up into the sky in order to mate.  After they mate, they fall to the ground where the males die and the females lose their wings and wander off to find somewhere to make a new nest.

However, the seagulls are wise to this situation and fly around on the thermals, feasting on the ants.  If the ants do manage to avoid being eaten, not all of them make it to the ground because due to the thermals, they can't control where they're going to fall and some of them end up in the sea.  It's a tough life being an ant!


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