Seventy miles from the sea
in any direction,
yet I can hear
the seagulls.

There are no such things as seagulls
the man once said.
There are
black-headed gulls,
Mediterranean gulls,
yellow-legged gulls,
herring gulls,
little gulls,
lesser and greater black-backed gulls,
glaucous gulls,
Iceland gulls,
common gulls,
and Sabine’s gulls.
There are no such things as seagulls.

Seventy miles from the sea
in any direction,
And I can hear
herring gulls.


30 Responses to “Connections”

  1. katherine Wyatt Says:

    i love this here they are sort of Florida pigeons lol beautiful David

  2. Your muse clearly said “Stop what you are doing and listen to me!”

    I am glad you listened – this is terrific.

    Do you know, this makes me realise how little I know about birds of any type. They are such fascinating creatures and deserve recognition. I will educate myself!

    I would like to go to the cliffs you mentioned to watch them. Did you say it is Bempton or something similar?

    Lots of love



    • belfastdavid Says:

      πŸ™‚ My muse is prone to do that Christine!! She is always worth listening to!!

      I went to Bempton to see the gannets (which of course are not gulls at all πŸ™‚ ) Well worth a visit at the right time of year. The sea trip to the base of the cliffs is even more spectacular!!

      The particular birds I heard in my imagination were of couse from Whitby πŸ™‚

      Lots of love


  3. I am too much like that man!
    Thank you for the laugh today.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Ah Jonnia, the man was quite right – his telling me that has made a difference to the way I look at sea birds ever since.

  4. peta straatman Says:

    I was quite comfortable wondering casually if the bird on the roof over the back was a pigeon or a seagull. Why does life have to be so complicated?

    πŸ™‚ Peta

  5. I like to know the names of birds, flowers, trees and stars; makes them more familiar, more like personal friends. Which is why I can or leave the waders; no matter how I try, they all look the same to me. Apart from oyster-catchers. See? You’ve got me started now! Really enjoyed this poem, David, which appealed to both the poet and the pedant in me – thank you for a beautiful image on a grey day.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      My lack of knowledge Nick of the natural world shames me sometimes. But I am trying to educate myself. The thing about gulls is that they are big enough and stand still long enough for me to get out my book and identify them πŸ™‚
      The same is true of waders. I spent a very pleasant hour last year, cup of coffee in hand, watching the Touchstones on the beach beneath me πŸ™‚
      I am delighted to have brigtened up your day

  6. Elaine Randall English Says:

    Nice….I hear them too!

  7. Hi David,

    *big smile*
    This poem appeals to me greatly. I can very much see you sitting on the cliffs just enjoying the sounds of the herring gulls as they go about their business, or spy on you, πŸ™‚
    I always get a great deal of satisfaction learning the names of the birds and creatures that surround me, if I’m able. It adds a greater pleasure to being out amongst it all. πŸ™‚

    The gulls that keep me company at the beach are silver gulls, who know all levels of tricky when it comes to stealing your chips. πŸ™‚

    I hope you are having a most lovely week. πŸ™‚


    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Tikarma,

      What a lovely smile full comment πŸ™‚

      Thet come to talk to me when I an sitting on that cliff top – nothing herring gulls like more than a bit of gossip. Apart that is from fish and chips πŸ™‚

      I am doing my best to educate myself about the birds and creatures that surround me. A friend bought me a bird book which is inavaluable – although persuading the birds to sit still long enough to be identified is a problem! πŸ™‚

      Silver gulls must be native to Australia – I don’t think we have them over here although clearly “tricky” is common the world over πŸ™‚

      I am having a good week. I hope you are too πŸ™‚


  8. Hi David, what a nice poem, never knew there were so many different sorts of seaguls! Here on the island there are several as well, rather big ones that are quite scary when they scream, little ones with black heads, called Zilvermeeuw, kokmeeuw, mantelmeeuw, also Sters, Jan van Gents etc.

    I am always a few minutes walk from the sea and if I am on the mainland, it feels odd lol. πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to your visit! πŸ™‚

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Ina,

      I have been exploring your island via Google. It gives the impression of a peaceful, relaxing place to live.
      How do you reach the mainland? Is there a ferry?


      • Yes there is a ferry, from and to Harlingen several times a day. The slow one takes 2 hours, the fast one 45 minutes!

        It is peaceful in Winter, in Summer we have many tourists.


      • belfastdavid Says:

        Bloody Tourists!!! That’s why I prefer Whitby in quieter times – even though I am a tourist myself really πŸ™‚

        So how many people live on the island on a permanent basis?

  9. Smiling, so big at this one!! Hugs David!!

  10. Hi David, in reply to your question: about 4600 I think. The biggest village is West, where I live, with about? 2500.
    Tourists do bring in a lot of money, and the island is big enough to make them dissapear into nature lol. And most of them are relaxed and friendly!

    Whitby, it was so nice and British πŸ™‚ And not posh at all. Maybe that is what I liked best, like terschelling, it has no glitsy glamour lol.

  11. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    This is a lovely poem, makes me chuckle!
    are you sure it was a herring gull? πŸ™‚
    I very much enjoyed this!

    Have a good week!
    Vera & Karley

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Always delighted to give you a chuckle Vera πŸ™‚

      I am sure it was a herring gull – I was in the cafe at the end of the pier at Whitby in my imagination, the herring gulls take great interest in people eating πŸ™‚

      We were back to winter here yesterday, but it is somewhat better today.

      My best to you and Karley. Have a good week.


  12. This made me smile.
    There are American poets, and Australian poets, and English poets, and Canadian poets….
    Then, there are Irish poets.
    When you say ‘seagullβ€˜, you mean a herring gull. And a lot of us, when we say “Poet”, we mean Irish poet, because everyone knows Ireland has got something in the rocks that gets inside a writer and inspires the best poetry.
    Of course, this is a biased opinion, but I know you will wholeheartedly agree with it. *grin*

    Much love,

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Ah Shirley,

      You know just the right things to say. How could I possibly disagree πŸ™‚

      I do mean herring gull when I say “seagull” but I should educate myself not to be lazy and to say what I mean.

      Much Love

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