A Dundee woman has told how she was left shaken after a gull she thinks was protecting its chick attacked her as she made her way to work.
Angela McQueen was sitting near the train station before her 7am start as housekeeper at the Premier Inn hotel, next to Discovery Point, when she was targeted by the bird.
She says it swooped down on her as she walked between the station and the hotel.
Initially thinking it was attracted to the sunglasses she was wearing, Angie took them off in a bed to stop the gull attack.
She said: “My husband had dropped me off at about 6:20am on Sunday, just at the lights over by the train station.
“I had sat for about 15 minutes, and then I was heading for the hotel when the seagull just came out of nowhere.
“It came as a shock, and it made me fall over. When that happened, it felt like it was getting really close too.
“I got back onto my feet, and I was walking away but I didn’t know what to do to get away. It seemed like it wanted to chase me out of that area.
“It was right at my head, squawking really loud. It was so vicious.”
The RSPB Scotland says ‘mobbing’ is a common behaviour in gulls and other birds, and is often done to protect offspring.
A spokesperson explained previously that gulls can be “fiercely protective” parents.
“The chicks leave the nest before they can fly and the parent gulls try to defend their chicks by swooping at any threat to scare it away,” they said.
“It can be very frightening to be confronted by an upset gull but the best things to do are not get too close to young gulls on the ground and if you have to, walk calmly while holding a bag or umbrella above your head so the gulls swoop at that instead.
“I also always try to remember that they are just trying to protect their young, it only lasts a few weeks and that gulls really do need our help or at least our tolerance.
“That’s because many gulls are in real trouble.
Populations are declining
“Non-urban populations of herring gulls have declined by more than 50% since 1970 and are continuing to do badly along with other seabirds due to changes in natural food supplies.”
But Angela says the experience on Sunday has left her fearful.
She added: “I won’t lie, when I came to work this morning I saw a chick and I did everything I could to avoid it.
“There have been other people swooped at by the gull, and it seems to go for people who are walking alone.
“I hope it doesn’t happen again.”