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Bird Nests Inches Away From Railway Track

Brave...or possibly stupid

Bird Nests Inches Away From Railway Track

Birds are pretty hardy creatures - those pigeons in Trafalgar Square look like they're all hardened veterans of a long battle with the elements (and tourists). But this seagull really takes the biscuit for choosing a tough life, by nesting just one inch away from a working railway line.

Spectators on a passing train saw the herring gull incubating the eggs by the side of the tracks and it was still there hours later when it pulled into the station.

69-year-old Geoff Wheeler took the incredible photographs at Mallaig terminus, in Lochaber, Scotland.

He said: "When we arrived at the station we spotted the nest next to an adjacent track with the bird sitting on top. I snapped some photos but it was cold and rainy so we went to a pub for a few hours to warm up."

"When we returned the gull was still dutifully warming its eggs and there were a group of passengers taking photos. It was incredible and I have never seen anything like it before. The train sped past and it didn't flinch."

It seems that the line was shut for the winter, so when the bird starting nesting it was an oasis of peace and quiet, which is clearly no longer the case. But Geoff thinks the seagull isn't phased by the whole thing, adding, "I've been an amateur bird watcher and in my experience birds are not too bothered about the presence of a machine, it's people they are more worried about."

Images: Solent Picture Desk