Every year for the last 5 years lesser black-backed gulls nest on the chimney. Without fail one of the chicks fall down. One year they abandoned the chick and I ended up rearing him until he flew off - Jasper. Other years the chick has fallen into our back garden and they have looked after them there. We are usually held under 'siege' for at least six weeks and cannot go into the garden - unless we want to be swooped.
Here is a little gallery of all the chicks that fell down. They are so small I really don't know how they could survive the fall. Archibald's egg was near where he fell, we didn't even realise he was there but my boyfriend saw the neighbour's cat staring intently at something and then saw him.
Now that they are on the nest again, I am wondering what little adventure's we will have this year? Sometimes the chicks have fallen on the road at the front of the house and I have rescued them and put them in the back garden. One called Elvis didn't survive. I rescued him from the middle of the road and called the Bird Sanctuary, she came to collect him but told me afterwards he didn't survive the journey there. Archibald was taken to the sanctuary because he was abandoned. Of the 3 chicks from that year only one stayed with us and we called him Lucky (Lucky, Archibald & Elvis were all siblings).
Of all the chicks Jasper - the first one was the most special to me and he is the one "one in particular" mentioned in my Blog introduction. He was abandoned and I phoned the Sanctuary because my neighbour said they would take him, but the lady was inundated with gull chicks and asked if she gave me instructions would I look after him. I did, and it was one of best experiences of my life. I have to admit before Jasper I hated gulls, but I came to understand them better, he was so sweet he stole my heart.
I wanted to make a book of all the photos of Jasper and write his story in a handmade book, that's when I signed up for my first bookbinding course and got hooked on Artists' Books. All because of a little gull chick, he changed my life. I can't explain it properly without sounding really soppy and sentimental, but all I know is that Jasper had a very profound effect on me. The cutest thing he used to do was when I was sitting at the back door he would edge closer and closer to me until he got as close as he dared and just stare at me and twist his head from side to side as if he was really puzzled and trying to figure something out. Jasper would do this for at least five minutes and then nonchalantly wander off down the garden, still looking puzzled. I used to feed him Tesco Value Tuna until he learned to fly, and shrimps one day as a treat because I knew he would leave soon. He used to come back for a while after he learned to fly but then he finally left and I missed him terribly, I still do.
I know he couldn't have stayed and had to fly off with his gang of gull friends, but every now and then I just wished he would come back and perch on the roof just to say hello.
Labels: Birds, Gulls