A fisherman told how he has become best friends with a seagull – which followed him home from a trip at sea.
Ron Ifield, 70, struck up an unlikely bond with the bird when it landed on his boat as he fished the Thames Estuary.
After handing him a scrap of fish the lonely gull then flew into Ron’s cabin, sipped his cup of tea and nestled up to him on his bunk.
The bird stayed with Ron for the entire day before following his boat back to port at Hoo Marina in Rochester, Kent, during the trip in July.
Amazingly, the gull then managed to search out Ron’s family home, which is 400 yards away from the mooring site – and the pair have been best friends ever since.
Ron, who named the bird Herbert, 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 by home he started squeaking and recognised me
“I have become attached to him he is like a pet now.”
But Ron’s friendship has been called into an early test, after he was forced to defend his new pal from families complaining of attacks by Herbert.
Residents claim the gull has swooped down to steal children’s sweets and has even attacked dogs in the neighbourhood.
Ron, who live with wife Christine, has denied the claims.