Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Has Spring Sprung?

I think it may have. I woke up this morning to bird song and it wasn’t the tentative little chirrups we’ve had over the past few days, but the full on dawn chorus. Not quite as loud as it gets later in the year, but good to hear all the same.

The bird that says “Weeeeeeeeeeeeep,” was there and the doves coo-coo coo-ing and all the other little trills and whistles were going on.

There is one group of birds that never fails to turn up all through the winter for a bit of yodelling and that is the gulls, particularly on dustbin day.

I noticed over Christmas when we missed a collection, the gulls still turned up on the Monday in full voice.

When I was out with the dogs yesterday stomping through the soggy fields, the wind was blowing off the sea and I really thought I could smell a brighter day coming.

And this morning here it is. Bird song. Sunshine. Blue sky.

I like gulls. I like the way if you throw bread up in the air they swoop in and catch it mid-flight. I like that loud noise they make when you can see their throats moving. It makes me sad that they are considered pests by some people. They’ve as much right to be here as we have.

Besides, they’re soul birds. And if you don’t believe they contain the souls of dead sailors you should go out and ask my great grandad. He’s been around since I was a child – he’s out there now stretching his wings on the roof opposite.


  1. I love gulls too. I wrote a poem when I was a child. It started:
    A seagull circle overhead
    It cry a call of distress
    For it carries the soul of the dead...
    Okay so it's not that good, but you get the picture...

    A great posting!

  2. I think birdsong brings winter to a close more than any of the other signs of spring. The wood-pigeon is insisting that the world should be coming to life again now. I like gulls. I liked the one in Devon that swooped down on my mother's chocolate digestive and beaked it out of her hand. She retained her sense of humour very well. I like their mournful echoing cry too.
    Thank you for a lovely post.

  3. That's a coincidence - we rarely get gulls around the house, but there were two right outside this morning.

    If spring hasn't sprung, then it's definitely crouching ready to do so!

  4. Lovely post - touch of frost here thismorning but just those hints of pale green coming.

  5. I love gulls, too, but only when they're swoopng over clifftops and tumbling waves. Seagulls on rubbish tips in Devizes (no cliffs; no tumbling waves)aren't at all the same. I mean, why on earth would you choose a rubbish tip when you can have the nice, clean sea? Oh - and where do urban gulls build their nests? I've always wanted to know.

  6. I love it when the birds start the dawn chorus after a miserable winter.

    Gulls scare me - they always look like they're plotting something. And more than one has left a gift on my shoulder in the past. They say it's good luck, but not so good when you have to pay out for dry cleaning.


  7. A truly lovely post. Yes the birdsong is chirpier of late, the days are getting longer, the walks are still hard work when claggy mud makes me feel like I am wearing moon-boots but when the sun shone as it did today the mud was a minor annoyance. Soon enough the ground will be cracked and dry and easier to negotiate, 'not long now 'till summer', I tell Himself, as we squelch away through hill and dale watching two happy little dogs trotting gleefully beside us, regardless of the weather.

  8. I like seagulls too. When I walk along the beach I call out, 'Hi Steven!' after Steven Seagal. Well, it gives me a giggle. Enjoyed your post...thanks Teresa

  9. I love it, Jarmara!

    They are very bold aren’t they, Joanna. Love the story of the cheeky one pinching your mother’s biscuit – and a chocolate one at that, a bird of good taste!

    Love the thought of spring crouching, Patsy (with a big smile on its face!)

    It’s wonderful to see everything coming back to life isn’t it, Margo.

    They do love their rubbish tips don’t they, Frances – and the rubbish bags. Our council hasn’t woken up to wheelie bins yet so the gulls have a field day on bin collection days, ripping the bags open and scattering rubbish everywhere. We don’t have any proper cliffs round here and our gulls nest on the roofs of big buildings.

    I’ve had those gifts too, Suzanne and they’re usually big aren’t they! I can’t say they’ve ever brought me luck though.

    I love that expression, MOB – claggy. The dogs never seem to mind.

    Tee hee – Steven Seagal, Diane!

  10. I have noticed it's getting a lot lighter earlier in the mornings, so I do think spring is on its way :o)

    I grew up in Scarborough and never liked the sounds of seagulls - I don't know why but they sounded so melancholy to me, even as a child, and I still don't like hearing them now. That they contain the souls of dead sailors makes sense somehow.

  11. I used to think they sounded melancholy too, Karen, but I think they're just not very good at expressing themselves and really they're laughing :-)

  12. I love the sound of seagulls. When I hear them it transports me back to childhood seaside holidays. As soon as I heard the seagulls I knew I was really there at last on my long anticipated holiday.

  13. What a lovely idea, gulls being soul birds. I had never heard that. Did you know that shi'tzu dogs are supposed to contain the souls of dead Tibetan monks?

  14. It's lovely that the sound of them brings back happy memories, Sue.

    No, Hydra, I didn't know that about Shi Tzus. So they're more than just cute little dogs :-)