I'm basking in the hot, afternoon sun, reading a book, when a cry breaks the stillness. I glance up just as I hear it again. The second time I recognise the call and look up into the clear blue sky. A gull passes over followed by another, shouting loudly. I've not heard a gull do this before.
Then I see it. Wings spread wide, gliding smoothly, a buzzard. Suddenly the first gull rises slightly and swoops down on the buzzard who darts sideways at the last moment. Then the second gull attacks and this time Mr Buzzard can't evade and gets a sharp peck.
Now he's flying hard, his cool, powerful presence disintegrating. Again and again the gulls fly in, herding him. A third gull arrives and together they drive the lone raider away over the gardens.
Gazing into the sky I pick out another bird, wings spread, almost completely still. It must be his mate, watching from high above. What is she feeling? Why doesn't she make any move to rescue him?
Suddenly though Mr Buzzard pulls away and the gulls can only yell after him. They turn and swoop back congratulating each other on their success.
I look again into the unending blue, but Mrs Buzzard has gone too.