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Adriatic Seagulls - nature landscape painting -

Adriatic Seagulls

Island Seagulls

Artist: Jan Brelih
Lastovo, Croatia

Hearing seagulls has always brought a happy feeling inside me, reminding me of the beautiful times spent at sea. But another reality is also that sometimes when we think of them, we may not see them in the most positive light. Not only do we fail to see any inspirational qualities in them, but we may even view them as “pests,” opportunistic scavengers for food in coastal cities. Myself included, I find them sometimes unappealing in loud and large groups within bustling seaside towns.

My trip to the remote Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, though, presented these feathered creatures in a completely different, positive, even romantic, light. Unlike in the city, it is pretty rare to see or hear seagulls here, and when you do, they are either silent and pretty small in number. I wanted to capture clean sounds of their otherwise beautiful calls, which are impossible to find in urban sea settings due to the nonstop presence of human activities generating noise. There were no ports, fishermen, or much villages on the wild island of Lastovo, but seagulls were also rare to find. After a few days of active field recording, I had already accepted that once again, I might not capture their call sounds in their natural setting.

The last day, however, brought an unexpected discovery. I reached a very remote corner of the island, where I established my camp recording base for the day and overnight. Razor-sharp rocks meet the sea on one side of the coastline, while thick forest vegetation covers the other. My exploration for sounds led me about 200 meters further down the coastline, where I found a small islet after jumping over all the rocks with my recording gear. All of the sudden, I was surprised to see numerous seagulls circling over the little islet—just there.

Not only were they plenty in numbers, but they were also making a pleasant sound, with gentle waves hitting the rocks in the background. Their calls were a stark contrast to the “pestering” squawks that certain people may have become accustomed to in the city. Their soft and soothing calls served as a reminder of the tranquility of this remote island. I’ve finally managed to capture clear sound, and I was fully appreciating their presence and vocal calls.

This experience served as a reminder that judging animals solely based on their interactions with humans in altered environments can be misleading. It prompted me to consider how perceptions of the same thing can vary in different settings and concepts. It kind of resonated with our own personal experiences as humans. While one environment may not acknowledge our worth, another may recognize and value us highly for who we are. The seagull’s story can act as an inspiration to seek environments where we can shine and be seen for our true potential.

For an even deeper dive into the topic of seagulls vs. humans, you can check the following blog: is a completely free streaming service of 800+ nature sounds from around the world, offering natural soundscapes and guided meditations for people who wish to listen to nature, relax, and become more connected.

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