For those of us fortunate enough to live on the beach side of the Kier Hardie Building, the sea is not the only interesting thing to gaze at during moments of reflection. Each year we see what Elton John would call the “circle of life” – the nurturing of some baby seagulls until they become independent. Mama Seagull builds her nest at the corner of the roof of the Annex and then sits there for months. She is fiercely protective of the eggs, and who we assume to be Papa Seagull keeps a watching brief, coming and going. Without any doubt though, Mama’s doing all the work.
Today on a rare campus visit, I saw them. They were in the usual spot like nothing has changed. And for them perhaps it hasn’t, much. Amid all the things that have been going on, there was something very soothing to see that nature is uninterrupted and that Mama and Papa were still doing their thing. Soon, the chicks will hatch, and there will be some grey balls of fluff to watch over, every day becoming more daring and inquisitive until they are ready to fly away and steal your chips on the beach.
Nice to see them back ? No, it’s us who are coming back, slowly. They never went away.
(Main cover picture by Alvesgaspar, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)