Once again this morning we heard a commotion outside as hundreds of gulls circled in a noisy flock. There’s only one cause of that sound and here it is – a lovely Harris Hawk being flown to deter the gulls from nesting on the gullies and chimneys around us. To us they look like Georgian, terraces but to a gull they’re just another cliff with easy access to an endless supply of food, courtesy of the refuse sacks. The council have tried gels, wire spikes and even gathering the eggs from high platform lifts, but this looks like a new strategy to make them feel uncomfortable. I hope very much that it works – the egg collecting seemed to promote a great deal of distress among the birds and the other methods didn’t seem to make much difference. The hawk is very well trained and doesn’t attack the gulls at all – its mere presence is enough to upset them and, perhaps, compel them to look for a safer nesting site. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this magnificent bird and his/her handler.
Sad news this morning as we heard that our brother in law had died with coronavirus during the night. Like so many victims he was suffering from multiple life threatening conditions already, but he was a great family man and we’ll all miss him. Funerals, of course, are becoming a big problem and I wonder what form public funerals will begin to take now – I guess tribute pages are bound to feature, it’s the kind of situation where new cultural forms begin to take root.
So not much to write today – it’s a thoughtful time.