Seagulls in general get lousy PR . They get a lot of bad press, people take time and effort to write into newspapers in a very irate way, berating seagull habits and habitats. They moan on about the noise they make, the mess they create and in general consider them as little more than flying rats.
My perspective is different . I'm happy to find a seaside chippy, buy a decent size bag of chips and share my, oh so English, thick, long cut - deep fried, cheap and cheerful, potato delights with a gull or two.
Gulls come in all shapes and sizes, the big ones can be intimidating, at least at first, but give them a chip and they are friends for life. Or at the very least until every last scrap is gone.
I have it on very good authority that chips are now seagulls favorite food. Anyhow this is how I got to know my friend Jonathan. I named him in honour of the best selling book by Richard Bach, a delightful story if you have some how missed it .
So Jonathan and I shared several lunches together and on occasion we were joined by a collection of other friendly feathered faces, some of whom I got to know quite well.
Lunches led in one way or another to suppers. I would save small scraps and offer them during the late evening to an appreciative audience.
This went on for several years. At times I got to meet the whole family, Mr., Mrs. and babies too, it really was thrilling.
Then one stormy night Jonathan appeared on the roof very distressed. He staggered forward and was blown back by the severe gale. He attempted this maneuver severe times but to no avail. It was a distressing sight.
In the morning he briefly appeared in the yard, only half the bird he used to be, storm battered and bruised .
This was the last time I saw him, hence this appeal. If you spot him do let me know. I’d be happy to send you a mini poster to display at your locality as he really could be anywhere.