Waitrose Tarte Tatin and a Swimming pool… Pic and text by Anne Scott Teignmouth
Gulls are going des res!
Following on from my last story about the sad loss of Daddy Gull, I can report that this year, two new Gulls took over the tenancy of our flat roof.
We both noticed immediately how familiar this new pair of Gulls appeared to be. They seemed to know our routine and they were not afraid of us in the least. We began to wonder whether perhaps one of the Gulls was the past offspring of Daddy Gull. They simply seemed far too knowing of us. We now think that one of these Gulls must certainly have been born on our flat roof over the years and definitely ‘knew’ us.
This year to our delight, another three baby Gulls were born. Both parents welcomed the fresh water tub which we replenish frequently and they came down onto our decked area to the food tray several times a day. If there is no food on the tray new Daddy Gull stands a vigil, staring in through our conservatory door quite motionless until we cannot fail but to notice him. We then go out and put some scraps onto the tray. He doesn’t fly away, he trusts us completely and scoffs away greedily giving us the occasional eye as we talk to him gently.
What has amused us most of all with this new pair is that if they get impatient waiting for us to come out, Mrs Gull plonks herself down heavily on the polycarbonate conservatory roof and stamps her feet up and down very fast in an attempt to make us come out! The longer we take the faster she stamps.
They are clearly engaging exactly the same thought process as when you see them stamping up and down on wet grass after it has rained to make the worms come to the surface. The crazy thing is that their cunning plan works. Out we come to feed them! We have never before known any Gulls to come up with this little idea!
The first baby to fledge this year crash landed into our garden and got lost in a dense maze of plants where the parent could not reach it. The parents stood on the conservatory roof and watched as my husband went out, picked up the baby and placed it back on the roof next to the parents. In normal circumstances, parent Gulls would not allow that to happen and would certainly attack. Again, it showed their complete trust of us. The baby did not struggle and the parents trusted we were helping it.
We have to admit to spoiling our Gulls again. We have bought them treats such as tins of herring and other tinned fish and even funnier still, it all came from Waitrose! They have also been treated to a range of our left- over food, including a large tarte tatin (Waitrose again!) which I had forgotten and left in the fridge uneaten. They do also seem to love pasta dishes. The jam doughnuts were scoffed in seconds and Mrs Gull saw off Mr Gull for that. She loves her doughnuts. So, as you can see, they are indeed spoilt.
This can, I feel, only be outdone by a lovely couple who I recently met who told me that they too feed their Gulls. This couple live in a very prestigious house with a swimming pool. Their Gulls not only get fed, but they have full use of the pool and come down each day and float around in it! The couple have invited me to come up and take a look. So, I guess my Gulls are ‘slumming it’ by comparison!
It is always good to know other locals who take pleasure in these beautiful birds. It helps to offset all the bad press that Gulls get from people who just jump on the bandwagon and demonize them unfairly.
And so, all the activity is now over and it is quiet on our flat roof again – for another year.