Guest blogger: Lindsay Wilson, Land's End information assistant
It has finally happened - the great black-backed gull chicks here at Land's End have flown the nest, and we were there to witness it! Both were practicing flapping and hopping and gliding a little in the updrafts one particularly windy day, then the bravest of the siblings very gracefully glided to the side and away from the rock. It was a truly wonderful sight. A couple of days later the second chick also took the leap into independence. Both were seen for several days on the nesting rock after their first flight, trying out their new found freedom and going for short flights around the bay on small explorations. The sibling bond even seemed to stay with them, greeting each other when the returned to the rock. It really has been fantastic getting to watch this family right from the beginning when the chicks were barely a twinkle in their parents' eyes all the way through to them flying the nest. A big well done and congratulations to the two parents for successfully fledgling not just the usual one, but two chicks, even with this year's "summer" weather.
Even though the chicks are now gone, we're still seeing plenty of action down at the End of the Land. There's everything from choughs, young kestrel and peregrine to fledgling shags hopping around on the rocks beside the water's edge to be seen. And of course let's not forget the huge basking sharks which are being spotted all the more frequently now that the weather seems to have finally improved, making anything out in the water easier to see.
Photo by Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)