Caution: this post is a story of highs and lows. If you are of a nervous disposition, please click away now.
Regular readers will recall that Hub and I have been gull-watching over the last few months. In my last post on this topic, I was delighted to be able to report on the hatching of three chicks. Nature being what she is, however, matters did not progress very smoothly thereafter.
A few days after the chicks had emerged, we had 36 hours or so of 60-70mph winds. Not the strongest we have ever experienced, but still forceful, especially if you are a very small, days-old little bird living on an exposed chimney stack. So we went from being able to see this…..
….. to this:
Oh no! Could it be true that none of the chicks had survived the storm? Poor them. Poor parents. The adults could be seen wheeling and calling. Were they looking for their lost offspring? We couldn’t really tell what was going on, but felt sure that the whole brood must have been lost.
After a few days, just when we assumed that all hope was lost, Hub spotted this:
Hooray!! How wonderful to see that this little button had survived. We watched it clamber up and down, back and forth across the roof, trying to bridge the edge of the flashing to get on to the flat part but it was as yet too small. Only a matter of time we thought.
And then it vanished again. For 10 days or so, we could see no sign of the chick. Again, we assumed that it must have been hunted from that very open aspect, or perhaps had fallen off the roof. But we had not reckoned on its ability to survive. Having clung on through the storm, a few roof tiles and various hunting birds were clearly not going to get the better of this little fighter.
He must have been out of sight behind the chimney breast or on another part of the roof for a while, because, just when we were starting to persuade ourselves that something had happened to it, we saw this:
Woo hoo – a happy ending to this rollercoaster saga, the tale of which could be finished off by only one thing: