|On Beachy Head, the Downs, looking over Eastbourne - wonderful place to soar above|
... I have my wires crossed I believe. I’ve been looking around this thing those humans call the internet – now I am a sea-gull ... the funny thing is they say I’m just a gull ... well my wires are crossed because I think I live in a birdbath.
|Tresco, Scilly Isles|
I can understand how that human, who gives us fresh water in the bird bath, thinks I have my wires crossed ... I must think a little like her – except she can’t ... as John Masefield so eloquently wrote ..
.. ‘go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky’
She can’t fly, nor soar on the thermals as they brush with the land – my species tell me I can ... but I really feel the need to stay in the small part of Eastbourne where my blogging friend lives – she tells me it’s called that because bourne means small river – and the one coming off the Downs and Beachy Head is the westerly bourne.
|The Bourne flowing through|
I am confused and all spring and summer I have been confused ... my species live on the rooves around, they have produced off-spring ... those fledglings are invading my patch ... I am beginning to get worried.
My patch ... has an elderly neighbour, who likes to feed all wild creatures, but especially us bird ones ... I go and perch on her balcony – but I have to watch my beak, as it hits the window if I’m not careful, as I glide in to land ... and dare I say it “beg” for food.
It is a lot easier getting these humans to feed and water us ... feeding we don’t really need – those beings leave plenty of garbage around and this hand feeding is making me lazy ... but us birds were very grateful for the birdbaths full of water (rather than solid ice) this past winter - it was a bitterly cold time.
We have funny habits us gulls – the watchful blogger spots these things ... her eyes are open to the most extraordinary of worlds ... have you seen her blog? Oh! of course you have – you’re here. She’s constantly questioning, looking up and clarifying things ... I have a quiet look sometimes when I can land on a roof and connect to gull-web.
|This is like 'my' bird bath!|
I haven’t been able to settle all summer – my desire to nest is thwarted by the bird bath being filled with water – doesn’t that blogger realise it’s my desired place for a nest ... it’s concave and just the right size and depth ... I’ve constantly added sticks and grass to it .. but she insists on topping it up with water.
It’s almost too late to nest now, I’ll have to wait til next year ... two of my fledgling relatives have arrived and that is irritating me – new competitors for the food source from my elderly feeder – they can fly away though (they learnt early .. so often those babies pad around at ground level, unable to lift off), they must go and find their own food source – we are scavengers, after all ... and there’s plenty around in human land.
|Chick and egg on nest|
Before I go and tell you about my other wildlife neighbours in this small percentile of the urbanised Downland – I have been watching this blogger recently ... she’s been up that Down a lot more often ... spending more time with her mother, who I hear from my relatives up the hill is not at all well.
I soar above keeping an eye on this daughter ... and making sure she looks after herself by not getting too sad for a life well-lived ... ‘my’ wildlife friends down here keep her amused – I’ll start with the foxes ... there’s a few round here – but 3 visit the garden – one stands on his hindlegs and drinks from our larger birdbath – the cheat of it ... but another one is even more audacious ... it jumps up on to it to drink – foxes are too clever by far.
Us birds make so much noise ... we wail and squawk at all hours of day and night ... heaven knows we must keep everyone awake ... but I don’t know why them humans complain ... because those blackbirds start singing before dawn – they must have sixth sense to know dawn is coming ... they don’t have those time things that humans look at.
My blogger friend loves the blackbird sound ... our noise resonates with the tennis fans – but that’s all – otherwise we’re nuisance birds ... we do thieve I’m afraid. Then there’s all those jackdaws ... my friend says she’s never seen them before – in her youth .. they weren’t garden birds; magpies too – as many as five or so ...
... the robins, house sparrows, wrens and tits hide from the jackdaws and magpies ... she calls them ‘her thugs’ ... they did manage to kill a pigeon the other day ... and certainly I’ve seen some of my sorts’ eggs on the ground.
I’ve heard her say that I puddle ... I don’t! Ah..... she’s referring to some odd habits she’s seen me do with my web feet – funny having web feet when I live on the land. My feet sure are big ... I love puddles – when there’s lots of rain or melting snow ... I stand on the grass and ‘march on the spot’ ... I do this when it’s so cold ... I thought I was fooling her – but no ... she found out my trick ... it’s to bring the worms to the surface ... she thinks I’m doing my warming up exercises! She’s a funny old thing ... lots of ideas though.
So that’s my life here with this Blogger person ... I try and look after her, taking her mind off things, by keeping her amused with my antics – swooping in to land ... paddling around the lawn ... building my nest –I think she gets a little cross about that as she has to extract all my nesting materials and it’s a bit gungy ...
... but I love the fresh water and like all the other birds I dip my beak in and take a big swig, raise my head (rather haughtily – as I know others can’t interrupt me in my imbibing) and slowly let the nectar of fresh clean water trickle down to quench my thirst.
So that’s it for now everyone when the wildlife changes I’ll be back to let you know – mind you she does that pretty well too ... my twin has arrived and we’re both paddling in our baths ... we do splash quite a lot of water out.
We all get along really by minding our own business – the pigeons and collared doves, the squirrels .. the magpies and jackdaws can fight .. usually for supremacy .. and I just muscle my way in ... I know my rights – she doesn’t though .. do wish she’d realise my desire for a dry nest and not a wet bath.
That’s all folks ... my first article for this blogging lady – I’m not sure she’ll allow me another wildlife chatter .. but I am keeping an eye on her ... cheers for now from this Herring Gull to give me my other name ... I must like herrings then – she hasn’t told me that!
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