Your lunch is at risk

IMG_8496_finalSeagulls are predators and thieves. There was a time when a day at the seaside involved sitting outside enjoying the sun, quietly minding one’s own business, and enjoying an ice cream or fish and chips. Not any longer. Seaside towns are fast becoming battle grounds with aggressive Herring Gulls swooping down on unsuspecting tourists and stealing the food off their plates or out of their hands. The scenes are reminiscent of Hitchcock’s film ‘The Birds’.

We returned to the East beach Cafe in Littlehampton for lunch last week (wisely eating lunch inside). We had a window seat and watched a couple outside being closely monitored by a squadron of birds with my Canon G10 parked on the edge of the table and a finger resting on the shutter button. An aerial assault looked very likely but I suspect there was not much food on offer. Finally when the crumbs from the table were eventually scattered they were pounced on rapidly.

 

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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10 Responses to Your lunch is at risk

  1. Sue says:

    I have noticed this myself – so what has fuelled their fearless aggression?

    • LensScaper says:

      Good question, Sue. They are reported as being very aggressive in the nesting season to protect young, but their habit of raiding tourists for their lunch is I suspect due to a combination of factors. Hunger – due to a decline in the fishing industries may be one factor. They regularly raid rubbish bags tearing them open for food and scattering the contents far and wide. Tourists may have encouraged their marauding tendencies by throwing them food – remember the folk who feed swans and ducks wherever there is water – and a natural extension of being thrown food is to become pro-active and steal it before it is ‘offered’.

  2. shoreacres says:

    As soon as you said “herring gulls,” I laughed. We have a few of those around, and they’re an absolute menace. They’re among the creatures most responsible for the death of baby ducks. I’ve watched them swoop down and pluck one right off the water, as though it’s no more than a French fry.

    Our laughing gulls aren’t so agressive. They’ll stand around and heckle, or fly overhead, but they never attack. I’m glad they’re the predominant species. On the other hand, the herring gulls did provide a wonderful, albeit slightly surreal, photo for you.

    • LensScaper says:

      I can imagine these gulls become predators of smaller birds – their wing span can be up to over four feet. They also can become very aggressive – scalping people with their beaks during the nesting season. They also make a ghastly noise starting very early in the morning, ruining the possibility of sleep!

  3. Great image Andy, though not my favourite animal!

  4. Chillbrook says:

    Fabulous photograph Andy. Seagulls have become a real pest since people started feeding them the odd chip but they’ve created such a great image here!

  5. Len says:

    I can remember fishing with my grandparents and these scavengers of the sea would follow us whereever we took the boat. Not much has changed in 50 years.

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