Fisherman's (unlikely) friend: The unusual bond between a man and the seagull who followed him home from fishing trip


Feathered friend: Ron Ifield with Herbert the herring gull. The fisherman revealed how the pair had bonded over a cup of tea while he was out to sea

A fisherman has told how he befriended a seagull after it followed him home from a voyage.
Ron Ifield, 70, struck up an unlikely bond with the bird - which he has named 'Herbert' - when it landed on his boat during a fishing trip in the Thames estuary.
After handing him a scrap of fish the plucky herring gull then flew into Mr Ifield's cabin, sipped from his cup of tea and nestled up to him on his bunk.

Herbert somehow managed to search out Mr Ifield's home after following him back to port in Rochester, Kent

The bird stayed with him for the entire day before following his ship back to port at Hoo Marina in Rochester, Kent, during the trip in July.
Amazingly, the gull then managed to search out the fisherman's family home, which is 400 yards away from the mooring site - and the pair have been friends ever since.

Backing: Mr Ifield has denied claims from neighbours that Herbert has attacked pets and stolen sweets since his arrival in town

Mr Ifield said: 'I fed him with the odd bit of fish and he stayed on the boat for about four hours. He was hungry.
'He even went in the wheel house and got onto my bunk and started drinking my tea.
'I have been sailing for 40 years and I’ve never had anything like it before.

'I’ve no idea how he found our mobile home, its about 400 yards from my boat but as soon as he saw me by my home he started squeaking and recognised me.
'I have become attached to him. He is like a pet now.'
But their friendship has been tested, after Mr Ifield was forced to defend the gull from families complaining that he been attacked people and pets in the area.
Residents claim Herbert has swooped down to steal children’s sweets and has even attacked dogs in the neighbourhood.
Mr Ifield, who lives with wife Christine, has denied the claims.

source: dailymail