For the past week I have been visiting the local village pond. Everyday this one Seagull swoops down and sits next to me. I don't feed it as I have no food with me, but every day it sits by me quietly. When ducks approach it pulls up its wings and frightens them off, but other than that it sits with me quietly. Even when other people sit down on benches with their lunch, the gull still sits with me and ignores them. People passing by laugh and comment on my sweet little friend. I am not usually a fan of gulls as I have found them to be aggressive and a bit of a pain in the past, but I am warming to them now, as this one is too cute :). Is this normal behaviour for a Seagull?

Hard to say I am afraid. If you search our site you will see we got a lot of questions about seemingly odd/interesting gull behaviour. They are quite intelligent and very adaptable birds but at the moment avian cognitive research is very much dominanted by reasaerch on corvids (crows etc) so to be honest we don't know much about what motivates or triggers these "odd" behaviours.

If I were to suggest a hypothesis - and it would be just that - I would propose the gull has identified you as a likely source of food and is defending it against potential competitors (ducks). Assuming it is always the same gull, and given that you are not providing food, one plausible scenario is that through prior experience with another person/people this particular bird has learned to associate something charcteristic about you (e.g. colour of your jacket) with food.

And just to add that - since many animals have been shown to have individual personality traits and preferences just as humans do - if the above sounds too dry and reductionist, it's also possible the bird just likes you and wants to hang out!