Flights of fancy

Seagulls seem to be getting a very bad press these days?

First we had some senator or other wiffling on about seagulls somewhere, some time ago.  I can't remember what the fuck he was on about but thankfully he was ignored and quickly forgotten.

Then a tortoise and a dog were attacked in the South of England and this somehow merited a mention by that Cameron bloke in parliament.  Again, thankfully that was another little squall in a teacup and consigned to the dustbin of history.

I hear that our own Great Democratic Institution – the Joe Duffy programme – had people screeching on about seagulls robbing their chips and ice cream, which I admit is bordering on the extremely serious.

Now there is another report of a small group of rogue seagulls attacking ewes in Kerry.

Talk about tabloid journalism!  Do I hear something about mountains and molehills?

First of all, a small group of gulls went rogue.  They were ordinary seagulls not fucking "giant seagulls".  I grant that gulls are surprisingly big when you see 'em close to, but unless they had been breeding near Sellafield the were NOT fucking giants.  OK?

The farmer barely fought off the gulls?  No he fucking didn't.  He chased the gulls and they backed off.  There is no "barely" about it and no fighting, but we don't want to spoil a good story to we?

Then there is the extraordinary addition to the piece –

And in one dramatic attack, a motor cyclist on the road between Waterville and Cahersiveen was swooped on in an attack he compared to a second World War Stuka dive bomb, so expertly was the attack executed with the gull protecting his wings.

Good God Almighty!!  I can just hear the scream from the wings as the bird lines up on the target and goes into a vertical dive.  Did he fire his canons or was he going to rely on the bomb?

It wasn't a "dramatic attack", for fuck's sake.  The only drama is in the telling of the tale.  A bird flew at the cyclist [maybe he was short-sighted?] and realised the error of his ways and aborted his mission without even touching the cyclist.  The cyclist got a bit of a fright, but I think the only danger to his life and limb was that he was watching seagulls when he should have been watching the road.

I don't know much about seagulls.  I can tell my Common from a Black Back and know a Herring Gull when I see one.  I know to steer well clear of a Tern colony during nesting as they can be vicious little buggers.  Apart from that I am no expert.  I do know however that gulls feed primarily off fish and shellfish and will also turn their hand [wing?] to a bit of scavenging from rubbish dumps and carrion.  And here possibly is the answer?  The seas have been virtually fished out, and rubbish tips seem to be a lot tidier than back when, so where the fuck are the birds supposed to feed?

We don't get many seagulls up here in the mountains so I can't report any of these vicious murderous attacks in my neighbourhood.

But if I hear of a gull robbing the local Post Office with a sawn off shotgun I'll be sure to let you know.


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Flights of fancy — 16 Comments

  1. Remember an old bloke telling me how to cook a seagull, boil a pan of water add the bird and a stone when boiling, when the stone is soft enough to eat, throw away the gull ! 🙂

    • There was a rumour back in the 70s that my favourite Chinese restaurant was serving chicken curry that wasn't exactly chicken [if you get my drift?].  Personally I never noticed any change in flavour, but then I confess to being pissed most times I visited.


      A Norwegian of my acquaintance offered the same advice a few years after we moved here. Common gulls are bloody maniacs. They hurl their young out of the nest and then spend about four weeks following them around attacking anything that comes within about twenty meters. This would not be a problem if the nasty fuckers would stay on beaches and cliffs where they belong. Food is much easier to find in the town centre though. So while they are smart enough to scrounge off of human beings they are too stupid to work out that dive bombing and shitting on them is a bad idea. Herring gulls and blackbacks have different parenting strategies, they wait until the young can fly before throwing them off the cliff.



  2. Four permanent types of seagulls in these parts. Black headed usually seen on the numerous beaches, Herring, Black Backed and Great Black Backed usually seen just about anywhere where the lazy bastards buy food and then chuck it in the bin. Why they don't cut out the waste and just throw their cash and cards in the bin instead is beyond me but the seagulls would go back to being sea gulls not the unpaid cleaning crew they are at present.

    And yes the great black backed are really big buggers even so unless you are about to stand on one of their eggs or chicks they fly off as soon as 'the human' gets 'too close'. I imagine there is a need for a seagull control officer as seagulls are at least as dangerous to human beings as secondhand smoke.

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