This early morning poser caught in City Square the other day was looking quite pleased with himself (herself?) when I took this picture without permission. And I suspect it might have been something to do with the absence of owls which I gather are sometimes used to deter gulls making a nuiscance of themselves attacking mince pies and vegan nuts and things the unsuspecting citizenry are trying to consume of a lunchtime! OK in Dundee there are rather more mince pies than vegan nuts but that’s not the point. One gull I saw on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh last year actually attacked a table without any food on it. It was like something out of “The Birds” and absolutely forced me to have another pint in the next door pub. Though when I found the cost of a round in that particular establishment in the heart of the Athens of the North I thought maybe the gull’s got a point.

Last year gulls in City Square were sometimes notable by their absence and it was when I saw a beautiful owl one day that I made a connection validly or otherwise. Astonishingly the owl’s keeper was ignoring the beautiful creature and had his phone welded to his ear in a classic banal ‘So you’re on the train conversation?’. I wrote a poem rather than taking a pic but I’m pretty sure the guy wouldn’t have noticed a swarm of paparazzi. I did blog the poem in an earlier post about the owl but indulge me!


Still life eyes sweep the perimeter
for truant gulls.
The man at the end of the jess
wears a migraine red top,

echoed in a rolled up tabloid.
The screaming puns throttled,
it juts from his pocket
like a schoolboy’s hasty homework.

The smart phone is welded to his ear.
The owl makes soft ripples
of wingspan music.
Someone’s on the train somewhere.

Just beyond the top of the square
Desperate Dan keeps heading west.
Gulls stay off the radar
while the owl plays a nocturne.

On second thoughts I wonder if it was Desperate Dan the gull deterrent last year? If so I reckon he’s been sleeping on the job recently!