Thursday, 11 August 2011

Freedom !

I said last year that when Steven the seagull can fly over the garden gate I would consider him cured of his broken wing, and that I would take him to the beach. After 13 months Steven finally flew over the gate today and landed in the road. My fear of losing him to the neighbours dog or him being run over, meant I would let him go today. I ushered him back into the garden then transported him down to the beach. Conditions were in fact Ideal, a brisk easterly wind low tide and hundreds of other gulls on the shore seemed just right. I opened the bag on the dunes and let him feel the wind, he walked a few yards onto the sand shook his wings raised his head and took off ! (short vid clip below ) I was choked with emotion as I watched him fly towards the sea, his flight was almost flawless but his landing a bit unsteady. I walked over to where he landed and he paddled through some shallow seawater sipping as he went and pecking at the odd shell. After a little while he walked back towards the dunes where he was joined by an adult gull. I thought for a moment that maybe there was some connection since he made himself small as though it was the parent. I only hope there is no other motive from the adult and that it didn't spot a weakness in Steven to be exploited. I decided to walk him towards the other gulls and get him acquainted, he occasionally took little flights and landed awkwardly at times. Hopefully if he survives a day or two, his ability to control his take offs and landings will improve greatly. When we got closer to the other gulls I stopped and let him carry on alone for fear of spooking the flock. At one point he stopped and looked back as though having a last look at me his friend of the past year, a flick of the tail and he carried on to meet his destiny.
This morning I lost two teeth at the dentists, this afternoon the loss was greater - I shall miss him.


Elaine said...

Ah Joe!!! That's just lovely!! Go Steven :)

Maria said...

It's so nice to finally discover there are people who love seagulls as much as I do :)

It is so obvious what a nice and kind person you are! Please, keep going! It's a shame you stopped writing here!

I hope Steven is nice and safe! And probably a happy parent now.