Tuesday, 20 November 2012


File:Sterna albostriata.jpg

Source for this image here.

Today when we walked through the park there were so many seagulls I couldn't count them all!  I think they were excited to have found something they thought delicious to eat.  They were whirling about in the grey rainy sky, calling raucously to each other, swooping and diving.  Although lots of people think of seagulls (although we all use this term, there is really no such thing as a "seagull", which is just a generic term for the gull or laridae species, of which there are over 50 types just in the British Isles alone) as a nuisance, in fact they are very intelligent birds, with excellent memories and the ability to recognise their environment even though they migrate in the summer and only return when the weather becomes cooler, usually around the middle of October.  They mate for life like many bird species, and once they have nested in a place successfully, they will return there every year if they are able to raise their chicks.  They are extremely resourceful and rather than being the scavengers they are thought of, they have simply learned to adapt to their environment as their natural habitats become eroded and there are fewer of them.  Also if the food they eat naturally is harder to find due to over-fishing of our seas, they must find alternative food sources.   I think they look beautiful when they are flying - magestic and brave, soaring in the sky so smoothly.  I found a poem which I think describes them very well ... here it is below.


For one carved instant as they flew,
The language had no simile—
Silver, crystal, ivory
Were tarnished. Etched upon the horizon blue,
The frieze must go unchallenged, for the lift
And carriage of the wings would stain the drift
Of stars against a tropic indigo
Or dull the parable of snow.

Now settling one by one
Within green hollows or where curled
Crests caught the spectrum from the sun,
A thousand wings are furled.
No clay-born lilies of the world
Could blow as free
As those wild orchids of the sea.

Edwin John Pratt

Now I need to see if I can find a poem that is just as beautiful to describe our cockatiels!  They are being very funny today.  We got them some new perches this weekend just gone.  Now there are 6 of them we thought they might appreciate the extra spaces to sit quietly - but no!  They are scared of them!  I put them in their cage today (only 2 of the 3, as after I had put the second one in, I realised they were just too worried for me to try putting in another one).  They were very suspicious!  I had to keep telling them it was OK, and whistling all their usual tunes to them, and eventually they calmed down.  I guess they are just like seagulls really - they know what their cage is supposed to look like, and when it changes, they really do notice!

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