Young Herring Gull with roof tops in background
Bird Weekly,  Birds,  Themed galleries

Gallery: meet Steven the Seagull and some friends

Not many gulls are as famous as Steven. Said to be Estonia’s most photographed seagull, he lives in Tallinn and is often seen on the viewing platform overlooking the Lower Town. He has featured in hundreds of tourist photos and became so famous that in 2016 he got his own Instagram account.

OK, this started as an April Fool’s prank / PR stunt from the city’s tourist board, but if they were seeking publicity for their city (which frankly is too beautiful to need any extra help from a gull!), it worked. Steven, who is a European Herring Gull, became an instant star.

I have to be honest. I have no way of knowing if my photo above, which was taken in 2014, is of the real Steven or an imposter. But it was taken on the Kohtuotsa viewing platform, his favourite hangout, so I believe it could be him.

Birds beginning with …

Steven may be a star, and could have served as the perfect introduction to a post about this lovely town. Maybe one day he will. But today he is here to welcome you to my selection of ‘birds beginning with G’ for this week’s Bird Weekly challenge on that theme.

Let me take you on a short tour around the world, starting very close to home in west London.

Brown goose drinking from a stream

An Egyptian Goose drinking from the stream in Bushey Park, west London

Attractive gull with grassy background

A Black-headed Gull in winter plumage at a lake near Druridge Bay in Northumberland

Brown and white gull in rocky water

A young Herring Gull wading in the shallows at Seahouses in Northumberland

Tall heron in mangrove tree

A six foot tall Goliath Heron perched in a mangrove tree at Mandina Lodge, Gambia

Black kingfisher with rust coloured throat

A Great Kingfisher posing on the deck at Mandina Lodge in the Makasutu Forest, the Gambia

Brown and white goose and all brown goose on grass by water's edge

A pair of Upland Geese by Lago Pehoe in Torres del Paine National Park – he is smart in brown and white, she is quietly elegant in shades of brown

Two gulls on lava rocks

A pair of loved-up Swallow-tailed Gulls nesting on lava rocks on Genovesa in the Galápagos Islands

Five grey birds on scrubby ground

A flock of Guinea Fowl in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Shiny blue bird on scrubby ground

A Cape Glossy Starling (or possibly a Greater Blue-eared Glossy Starling?) in Chobe National Park

Large grey bird in a tree

A Grey Go-away Bird, so-called because of his call, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Face of a grey owl with yellow eyes and beak

And back close to home – a Grey Owl at a bird of prey centre in Bedfordshire, England

I was in Tallinn in 2014 (and 2015); the Gambia in 2014; Chile in 2016; the Galápagos in 2012; and Botswana in 2018


    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Susan, I think they are my two favourites too 🙂 Grey/gray is one of those annoying words that is spelled differently depending on which side of the ‘pond’ you live!!

      • Susan Joy Clark

        Yes. I read a lot of Brit lit, so I keep learning of some new spelling difference. It was only a few years ago when I realized there was a spelling difference between “tire” and “tyre.” These language differences are interesting. 🙂

  • leightontravels

    Some amazing animals and indeed photographs. That owl… and the Cape Glossy Starling, not sure I’ve even seen one of those before. Wouldn’t want to mess with him.

  • Lisa Coleman

    WOW! You seem to give me a lot of WOW moments, Sarah! Fabulous gallery of “G” birds! That Goliath Heron is as tall as I am. The Cape Glossy Starling is what “Angry Birds” is made of. LOL! I had never heard of the Grey Go-away-bird before. I YouTube’d it and I have to say I was not annoyed at all. I kinda like it but I guess if it woke me up every morning…I’d be a little more annoyed. Got a good laugh from me! Thank you for sharing more birds that I’ve never seen or heard of before. 🙂

    • Sarah Wilkie

      As always, I’m very glad you enjoyed these Lisa 🙂 The Goliath Heron is an amazing bird, I never tired of photographing him! And I agree about the Grey Go-away Bird, I think I could start to get fed up with the noise if I heard it every morning, but on holiday it’s just one more exotic details 😀

      • Lisa Coleman

        Sorry I haven’t replied. I got hacked on Friday and have had to get my SIL to clear my systems. Changing PW, etc. There was more that happened last week that I won’t even get into. I couldn’t believe that bird is as tall as me. I’m 5’1″. LOL!

        • Sarah Wilkie

          No worries Lisa – I wasn’t necessarily expecting a reply 😉 And I’m sorry to hear about the hacking. I hope you get everything sorted soon and without too much aggravation.

          • Lisa Coleman

            Thanks Sarah. I always reply…it’s my nature. I’m slowly getting there. My systems are clean but it is the bazillion login and passwords that have me going. Changing my cc info on all my bills, etc. has been as time consuming as anything. 🙂

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Oh no, poor man on a bench – and I bet that was his first ice cream of the summer, given how rubbish the weather has been! I haven’t about Steven carrying out such thefts but I reckon he’d be quite capable of it, and with all the tourists that (normally) throng these viewing platforms, he’d have plenty of opportunities 😉

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