Duck! Seagull alert!

In parts of the county of Surrey ‘gulls’ are females who attend single sex schools. Around here gulls are birds of a very different feather and are both annoying and rather alarming at times.

Last week I met a rather beautiful Harris hawk and his handler; the team being employed over the summer by a local café in West Bay to scare away the seagulls who were making the lives of the customers sat at their outside tables something of a misery.

Even though the Bay has numerous signs asking visitors not the feed seagulls many visitors ignore this creating a much greater problem for everyone else. Emboldened and used to human contact local birds are not above helping themselves to food from wrapping paper as folks sit and eat on the promenade.

I was horrified by reports last week of what must have been a highly distressing attack by a flock of seagulls on a Yorkshire terrier resulting in the poor dog’s death. I was even more upset when the Prime Minister was quoted as saying we needed a ‘big conversation’ about seagulls.

I know him and Sam enjoy their visits to Cornwall but how about conversing about the flames across the Middle East, or the young local couple with a baby on the way living in a tent?

My son-in-law was sat quietly in their lounge last Friday and he couldn’t work out where the tapping was coming from. Sufficiently annoyed he went to the kitchen to discover a huge seagull helping itself from the cat’s bowl.

Not startled enough to leave immediately, the seagull helped itself to another beakful before walking passed their pet moggy which was now suffering from catalepsy.

Are you old enough to remember Richard Bach’s novella ‘Jonathon Livingston, Seagull’, the story of a bird who wanted higher things?

All the dudes were reading it and smoking pot when I was in college in the mid Seventies. Not a dude, I was reading Alistair Maclean and eating Spangles.

“Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood, he thought. They call you devil or they call you God”.


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