9 Jan 2015

Seagulls attack drone at cricket

12:23 pm on 9 January 2015

Nothing comes between a seagull and its love of our summer game.

A seagull chases the TV drone on the second day of the second test beween NZ and Sri Lanka on 4 January.

A seagull chases the TV drone on the second day of the second test beween NZ and Sri Lanka on 4 January. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In scenes at the Basin Reserve cricket test that would have had the legendary commentator and fan of birds at the cricket Henry Blofeld in fits of delight, Sky TV's drone was taught a thing or two about who really rules the air above this country's cricket grounds.

A seagull swoops at a Sky TV drone covering the cricket on day five of the second test between NZ and Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

A seagull swoops at the drone on day five. Photo: AFP

While New Zealand were fighting back brilliantly against Sri Lanka and enjoyed a famous win on the pitch, high above the action it was birds versus drone.

Nearly every time the drone was sent aloft - normally quickly during breaks in play - a group of seagulls emerged to harangue it, swooping down in one-on-one attacks on Sky TV's newest piece of camera technology.

Our reporter, who enjoyed the cricket over the weekend, said he saw seagulls, one by one, take off from their beloved Basin Reserve outfield and climb high above the drone.

He said one seagull swooped down and looked all but certain to collide with the drone.

But he saw the seagull then swoop back up in the nick of time.

Sky TV's Head of Production Tex Teixeria said the drone was not damaged and the seagulls also escaped unharmed.

He said this was the first time he had heard of a seagull attacking a drone.

He said this summer was the first where they were trialling drones at international cricket games.

The President of Birds New Zealand, David Lawrie, said the seagulls saw the drone as a threat.

"The seagulls will be nesting somewhere so they'll be trying to scare them away," he said.

"They'll be trying to threaten them by dive bombing basically, if you enter a gull colony they will fly at your head to try and deter you from entering," he said.

David Lawrie said while gulls will fly at their nemesis, they very rarely make any contact with their opposition.

He said there was no real way of deterring the birds.

The first match where drones were used by Sky TV was at Bay Oval in Mount Manganui for a one-day international match against South Africa in October.


Mark Craig and the team celebrate the wicket of Rangana Herath. Fifth day, second test, ANZ Cricket Test series, New Zealand Black Caps v Sri Lanka, 07 January 2015, Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand.

Mark Craig and the team celebrate the wicket of Rangana Herath. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Ross Taylor congratulates Kumar Sangakkara on his century on the second day of the second test.

Ross Taylor congratulates Kumar Sangakkara on his century on the second day of the second test. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

BJ Watling and Ross Taylor appeal for the wicket of Rangana Herath. Fifth day, second test, NZ vs Sri Lanka.

BJ Watling and Ross Taylor appeal for the wicket of Rangana Herath. Photo: PHOTOSPORT