by Matthew Hall

The RNIB website suggests that to help keep your eyes comfortable, you should take frequent breaks from your screen .The 20 20 20 “rule” suggests taking a break of at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes, and to look at least 20 feet away.

I only mention this as I don’t want to give the impression that I spend my day looking out of the window. However, since I joined Greens in June, just outside- 8 floors up, it has been possible to chart the progress of two little balls of fluff and their mother. I am no ornithologist, so these are either lesser black-backed gulls, or herring gulls. Either way, they nest in colonies on the sea coast, not an obvious feature of the Birmingham landscape.

The two chicks started off with speckly feathers, pottering about their nest behind an air conditioning unit. There were attempts to fly that looked like the old films of the first planes, usually with some sort of crash at the end of their attempts. Still, they carried on despite the attention of Hawk-Man, who was to be seen on the 3rd floor roof garden, trying to disperse the gulls. In the end, the hawk ended up sitting on a ledge, being dive-bombed by the adult gulls. The hawk was obviously swearing at them, and was cowering as if he would have been happy to be any other sort of bird.

By the end of July, there were two smart-looking birds outside the window, with fully formed white fronts, grey backs and black tail-feathers.

All of which got me thinking – if the gulls can adapt to living in totally different conditions, maybe I might be able to adapt to every road in Birmingham either being coned off or dug up…