Lessons in Seagulls- Take 3

seagull- take 3 || cityhippyfarmgirl

seagull take 3 || cityhippyfarmgirl

seagull take 3 || cityhippyfarmgirl

I was taking a minute to stop. Just me, the ocean, and some seagulls.

I was ignoring the fact that there was an entire city behind me. As long as I looked seaward, it was just me and the ocean, and still those same seagulls.

I sat still and wondered how long it would take for one to come bravely over. These were not the dive bombing steal your chip kind. These were the gentle, I’ll ignore you if you ignore me kind.

Except I couldn’t ignore this seagull.

This one that came closest to me to dabble in the water. This one that I thought at first was playing a game of ‘lift my leg up,’ but he wasn’t.

I noticed something hanging from his leg. A ruler length of what looked like fishing line caught up in its leg. The line had wrapped round and round the seagulls leg, growing into his skin, and finally amputating that little leg off. Left with a stump, and a continual possibility of being caught on something else as the fishing line hung down from its body.

I didn’t get the chance to think about doing anything to help it, as two pigeons came and scared the seagull off. Two lowly pigeons, that knew there was a pecking order and this amputee seagull with the man mad appendage was at the very bottom.

This was a tiny example of the state of our ocean ways and yet I felt completely disheartened as a witness to it. After sitting slumped and wallowing in a good dose of eco-anxiety, I decided to snap out of it. Wallowing will only take you so far and after that I vowed to go back to the battle lines and do something about it.

Take 3ย is pretty damn simple way to do something about our precious oceans and sea life. In their own words…

“take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or… anywhere and you have made a difference.” –Take 3


So often I don’t feel like it’s simply enough. But if I do this. Pass the story of the seagull on and I educate my kids to do this, they tell their friends to do this and so on. Maybe, just maybe we can make a difference and no more amputee seagulls (or other water based animals with far more gruesome tales.)

See here for more words on plastic and why we should be taking action from Tim Silverwood (Co-founder of Take-3)



34 thoughts on “Lessons in Seagulls- Take 3

  1. i do this brydie too whenever i’m at the beach and i do ‘clean up australia day’ regularly in my own street..my children are the same and my brother in law in greece told me a few years ago how he, and subsequently his children, had been influenced by my attitude..goes to show how one person really can have a bit of influence..lovely photos by the way! x


  2. I’m with you Brydie. This upsets me so much. I love how you have decided to do something about it. I’m thinking that on my beach walks I can look for fishing line and other things that sometimes get caught in the seaweed laying on the shore. Next time I’ll take a little bag with me. Thanks for the reminder. xxoo


  3. This saddens me, and I suspect I’d have struggled to pull myself out of the anxiety (love your term eco-anxiety) and wallowing state so quickly. Thank goodness you did, because the only way to prevent these things is through action – and the more stories are out there, the more people say they don’t want this in their area / country / world, the better we will be.


  4. Such a great post to educate but also to give us some hope that we can do something – I love the take 3 idea – I was brought up to leave a place (or gate) as you found it and am very conscious about taking away my own rubbish – but I really like the idea of taking responsibility for the area as much as for myself. And the photos are just beautiful. I suspect they reflect your compassion.


    • Johanna, I’m with you about being brought up to leave a place as you found it, and this was brought home to me as a younger woman when I was married and we used to spend most of our weekends in the Australian bush. Even then, a long time ago, it was amazing to find so much rubbish in places we thought would be pristine clean! I’ve been a big fan of Keep Australia Beautiful/Clean up Australia for a long time and do my bit even today.

      Brydie, thanks for the lovely pix of the seagulls too! They’re a truly interesting bird. For instance, the other day, for the first time ever in my long life, I saw a bunch of them nestled in a grassy area, not standing but nestled on the grass; extraordinary! I wished I’d got my camera out.


      • Unfortunately there is evidence of garbage everywhere, every water area we have. We can do better than that, so much better. We have some the most beautiful beaches, waterways in the world.


  5. Oh Brydie, I love this. It’s so important to teach our kids the value of taking that one small action. The footage this week of the baby dolphin dying in the shark net had me wallowing too. Thank you for reminding me that there is always something we can do, always action we can take. Flick x


  6. I felt incredibly saddened by the end of this well-written article Brydie. It’s a subject that we keep hearing about but for some reason or another, people just haven’t taken enough notice. I’ve seen many, many birds with amputations or other injuries from our modern environment/litter/pollution. The take three message is achievable and real. I do hope that people will jump on board for the benefits of both the natural environment and our wildlife. Thanks so much for the reminder xxx


  7. This is so so sad. I do feel hopeless and upset so often. It’s awful. What is going to happen. Dont even get me started on Tony


  8. Oh, such a teaser post. Here I thought some nice Sunday reflection pictures (like my post for today), but it turned into a sad animal story. So goes the state of the world today. We don’t drink soda in my house, so I don’t have to snip those nasty plastic 6-pack soda ring holders. But i just started thinking about rubber bands. We get several a week, holding our mail in a bundle. We don’t need that many, so I throw them out. Then I thought, well this could easily get stuck around some animal’s leg or snout, so now I cut them before I throw them out. Not saving the world, but at least I feel a bit better about it.


  9. Stunning photos Brydie. We just saw a garbage display of common items found in the ocean that kill sea life at the Pet Porpoise Pool in Coffs Harbour. Everyday products people use that do not get “disposed of thoughtfully”. It also starts at the manufacturing point too. Take 3 is a simple yet effective idea.


    • Manufacturers yes…if only it didn’t involve so much money eh.
      I was musing the other day, wondering what would happen to the world if we stopped producing single bottled drinks. No more coke, flavoured milk, sports drinks….what would happen? I decided the world WOULD continue to turn and in fact it would be a hell of a lot better for it. A girl can dream I guess.


  10. Thanks Brydie – a great post! More people need to see first hand what damage the rubbish can cause to our wildlife. Take 3 is a fabulous and achievable idea! Though disposing of it properly in the first place always seems like a no-brainer to me…


  11. I’m so happy Tasmania has banned plastic shopping bags now, it’s a small step in the right direction and everyone adjusted just fine. The saddest site I ever saw was the beautiful unesco World Heritage area of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam completely spoiled by rubbish, a sign of how bad things can get without the right education and infrastructure to deal with the issue…….Congratulations on being in the Top 100 Brydie – I was really thrilled to see your name up there. Mel xxx


    • Mel I want to jump up and down with frustration that NSW isn’t on top of this. Why, why, oh why?! Just get rid of the damn bags and people will sort other options out…argh, so frustrating.

      As for top 100, thank you lovely ๐Ÿ™‚ A wonderful surprise!


  12. I know how you feel Brydie. It makes me so sad and angry at the same time! I make the effort to pick up rubbish and my mother in-law takes a plastic beach every time she walks to the beach to pick up rubbish. We can all do our part ๐Ÿ™‚


  13. Great post. I really don’t get to the beach as often as I’d like, but to be honest, the south coast beaches are kept very clean, maybe its a Canberra thing, it is ingrained in us from a young age or something to pick up trash, but seeing this kind of thing would be most upsetting. I’m sorry your time out was disrupted too.


  14. We have been astounded at times at just how much rubbish is left on the beach at the end of the day. It is difficult to believe that the very same people who love getting back to nature leave straws , drink cans and paper lying on the beach when they leave….often they even go to the trouble of burying it in the sand when the bin is just metres away. For city beaches like Newcastle Beach , they often look clean in the morning because staff have been over the beach or it has all been washed out to sea.Whilst I can’t clean up the whole beach, I think people power is the answer- when I leave the beach now , I walk by at least 10 areas and pick up rubbish as I go . People watch me, they think …and maybe ,maybe just one person will do the same thing and the behaviour is carried on.
    A very good thoughtful post on something we can all do something about.


  15. Oh this makes me so sad too Brydie. Your pictures of the ocean and the seagulls are fantastic, and then to think of that poor seagull… People will always drop rubbish, but hopefully one day there will be even more people picking it up.


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