A herring gull goes into its bathing routine: wings held out, it dips its head and spreads water over its back.
On the sunny side of the pagoda roof of the floating bandstand seventeen herring gulls are snoozing, all facing into the prevailing breeze.
Herring Gull Mating
- South Bay, near the lifeboat station, 3.30 p.m. (top of page, bottom right sketches): A herring gull is standing on the beach apparently just watching the world go by. It starts calling, the laughing cry that instantly conjures up a picture of a seaside town for me when I hear it in a radio play.
- A second gull flies down and the first calls at it as if in greeting, but perhaps with a degree of agitation – ‘and where have you been?!’. The second bird responds with a head nod.
- The pair see off a rival.
- There’s a mating, a successful mating, I guess. It’s the female who has been waiting on the beach.
- The female waggles her rear end. The male leaves first, then the female.
It reminds me of a 1980 book, The Golden Turkey Awards, featuring what were affectionately judged to be the worst ever movies. It included a close up of two sea gulls with the caption ‘One of the steamy love scenes from Jonathan Livingston Seagull.’