Gulls: does the flock really watch the clock?

Thoughts from Phil Ward and Angela Capocci on how birds seem to adapt to human activities

Your article suggests that gulls know where and when meals are being served in schools (Urban gulls target school break times for food, says report, 10 November). Our rural gulls here in south Devon are even wiser. Every year, they know that once the clocks go back farmers will be ploughing, thereby unearthing lots of worms and snails. They rapidly congregate once ploughing begins.

Could it be that the lone gulls regularly seen patrolling the landscape are in fact scouts who tell their mates when the ploughing starts? Or when school breaks begin and the kids come out?
Phil Ward
Holbeton, Devon

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