Visitors, welcome and not

They’re back, they’re back; the blooming gulls — they’re back.

I have mixed feelings about this. See, I wanted them gone, I really did, but when I thought I might’ve killed them —

Hang on. Getting ahead of myself. A couple of days ago, I came out to fill the feeder, and found my garden all dug up. Most disturbingly, my daffodils had been uprooted, and the bulbs pecked to bits. Only a few stems remained, and half a dried-up bloom, to show I’d ever had daffodils, at all. I knew it was gulls that’d done it, because crows and pigeons don’t come round that early, and sparrows aren’t big enough to wreak that sort of havoc.

Then, I stopped seeing my gulls. I didn’t see them all that day, or the following day, or the one after that.

I hoped they’d just had diarrhoea, and gone “Right, well, that was unpleasant — we’re not eating there, any more.” But as time passed, and I didn’t see them anywhere, not even across the courtyard, I began to fear the worst. Daffodils are very bad for birds: they cause serious gastric distress, and maybe even seizures. And I’d had lots of bulbs, prior to the gull attack, at least seven or eight. It hadn’t occurred to me that anything might dig for them, much less dine on them. The crows like to knock over my planters and pull things out, but they never eat anything they uproot. They do it, as far as I can tell, for the sheer joy of destruction. Or maybe they’re hoping for insects, hidden beneath the soil.

Anyhow, this morning brought proof positive that the gulls are not dead. They might well have had a miserable few days, but this morning, I awoke to the usual six o’clock cacophony. A quick glance outside revealed the regular pair, gobbling everything in sight. I was relieved to see them in good health, but annoyed to see them, at all. Silly birds.

Now, here’s someone I’m always pleased to see, common as he may be:

A house sparrow, and another house sparrow (in the background, blurred out).  I was hoping the pictured sparrow would move, so I could snap the other one -- the females, I feel, are much prettier than the males -- but he stood there the whole time, shaking out his feathers.  She flew away, while he preened.

A house sparrow, and another house sparrow (in the background, blurred out). I was hoping the pictured sparrow would move, so I could snap the other one — the females, I feel, are much prettier than the males — but he stood there the whole time, shaking out his feathers. She flew away, while he preened.

All remaining daffodil parts have been dug up and cleared away; future diggers should have a safe, if fruitless, experience.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.