It's at this point you probably think I have gone stark raving mad!
I had better explain!
Back on June the 5th we were all gathered in Cardiff Castle for the Manic Street Preachers gig and the Holy Bible live.
It was a long day, as most outdoor gigs are these days. I was driving, so there was no alcohol consumed by me, but that could not be said by some of those around me. I would say some were most definitely under the influence. As the long evening wore on, so the numbers of those having a good time increased.
I think it was around the time of the last song before the encore, this chap came and stood in front of us. He was no youngster, but he was was most certainly partying like it was 1999! He seemed fixated with his bottle of beer, to which he was singing in the most dulcet tones too, well he must have thought he was. He kept holding the bottle high in the air above his head, and singing up his up stretched arm.
It was quite dark by now, but as you can imagine there was a lot of up-lighting going on, and all the commotion was disturbing Cardiff City Centres bird life. We had already seen the City Hall Peregrines hunting earlier in the day.
It is now a common sight in our modern cities to see Herring Gulls flying around in the dark, as the city is lit up like daylight all through the night. Going back to the Peregrines, there is also firm evidence they catch migratory birds lit from the city lights below all through the night.
One of said gulls flew right through a spotlight beam being shone into the Cardiff night sky. The old guy who was romancing his bottle of Coors Light, lost all interest in his new found loves, and looked in wonder at this bright white bird caught in the light. He turned to us and shouted ...
"BARN OWL!!! BARN OWL!!"
I just looked up and looked at him and said "Nah .. it's a seagull mate..."
His eyes were now full of a joyous wonder, and looked back at us and said ..
"BARN OWL!! BARN OWL!!! It's beautiful ... it looks like an angel ..."
There was nothing really you could add to that ...
He stood there ... lost in his own personal moment ... and then promptly held his plastic bottle of luke warm beer back aloft and started letting rip into A Design For Life ... before drifting off into the sea of faces around of us ...
I've been wanting to tell you story for ages now .. but I haven't been able to as I haven't been able to get a decent shot of a Herring Gull until today.
Every time we have seen a Herring Gull since we yelled "BARN OWL!!!" .. every time I do, I think of @yolobirder on twitter ... and it is to him I dedicate this absolutely true tale of pelagic joy!
I thank you!