The Seagulls Are Coming!
Unlike the native human populations of Scotland and Manly in Sydney, the UK’s seagull population seems to be thriving on its diet of deep-fried food and chips.
I have recently spent time in Edinburgh, London, and, all too rarely at home in Cheshire, and have been awoken in the early hours by the choking squawk of these birds in all three locations.
It would seem that the seagull hoards are venturing further and further inland and are becoming as prevalent (I deliberately shied away from the word “common” here) as a northern-accented newscaster on the BBC, following that institution’s relocation to Salford near Manchester.
Now there was a time in the all too dim and distant past of my childhood that the threat posed by these rather large seabirds was that they might swoop and snatch your battered cod and chips, your sandwich or your ice cream cone if you were being inattentive during a seaside promenade while on a family camping trip on the shores of Weston-Super-Mare.
But now, it would seem, there is a new breed of laridae in town. A more aggressive kind.
Recently the newspapers have been spattered with reports of fatal seagull attacks on small dogs such as a Yorkshire terrier killed in Newquay and a Chihuahua in Exeter. Now, I am not a fan at all of the genetically defective inbred toy dogs which adorn the handbags of WAGs and the Real Housewives of Cheshire. I, for one, would not bemoan the extinction of the pug and would normally consider such attacks to be Darwinian retribution and nature’s way of weeding out the weak and the ugly.
But now “experts” are claiming that seagulls are becoming carnivorous. They are less nervous of people and are particularly aggressive when with young. Those same “experts” are warning that even babies and small children might be at risk of attack. Who knows, they might even do for a drunken reveller who has fallen asleep on Brighton beach.
So, unless you wish to turn your local town into Bodega Bay stop feeding the birds and keep your petite pooches indoors and out of my sight.