A flock of seagulls were flying round the Isle of Wight as if they had been raiding the local pubs rather than pinching chips and sandwiches off holidaymakers.
The reason for their unusual ‘drunken’ behaviour was that they had not been on the booze – but eating a swarm of flying ants, which arrived in Newport, without being invited!
Flying Ant Day is a 24-hour period in which millions of flying ants come out at the same time all over the Island. On one day each year, male and female ants sprout wings and head out of their nests, with the queens looking for male ants from other colonies to mate with.
But the hungry, unaware seagulls were quick to find the tasty morsels, only to discover they felt like they had had ‘one over the eight’ because when ingested, some ants produce formic acid which affects the behaviour of the gulls and makes them appear intoxicated.
Some drivers even had to take evasive action down the Newport duel carriageway when gulls flew around as if they were recovered from a stag – or even hen – party.
Unfortunately, there were some gull casualties with one Facebook post even suggesting a driver was deliberately aiming at the hapless gulls.