Did you know that in this country we throw out the equivalent of twenty four meals a month, that adds up to 4.2 million tonnes of food every year that goes, sometimes untouched, into the bin. We cannot blame this beautiful bird for our greed and over indulgence. Its not their fault that there is ample food being consumed in our new al fresco culture, left unfinished on tabletops or in unemptied bins, the same as its not the fault of other wild animals who scavenge, we are encroaching on their territory.
When I was a child, we didn't seem to have this problem. We had our dinners outside in my grandparents garden all the time and were never bothered by the seagulls and there were always loads around. In fact , we used to feed them scraps, they never came whilst we were out and had to be called, by banging on the plates to come and get the food.
Saying that do be carefull and keep an eye out for them if you are eating outside, it can be very frightening if they do pick on you and your dinner. However, Herring Gulls, are a protected species which includes their nests, eggs and chicks. This means it is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird or intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built and intentionally take or destroy the egg of any wild bird.
I say in reply to the above article in the Guardian this morning: "Seagull attacks?.....Don't blame the birds! Blame us humans! We eat outside, we dump our rubbish, our councils don't empty our bins..."
Lets look at ourselves before we blame this bird.
Bird of the Ocean,
Graceful in motion,
Swift in thy passage from inland to sea;
Oft I in fancy pace
Over thy dwelling place,
Dear to thy nestlings and precious to me.
Bright in eccentric flight,
Gleaming with purest white,
Floating through ether, all buoyant and free;
Raptured, I've seen thee swerve
From thy fantastic curve,
Dropping with call-note to sport on the lea.
Oft when the billows foam,
Far from thy native home,
Sheltered by woodland, near meadow and brook,
Over a rugged stile,
Thoughtful, I've leaned awhile,
Watching thee play with some blackamoor rook.
And on the shore I've stood,
Marking thy snowy brood,
Dive 'neath the silver wave, searching for prey;
Then to the surface rise,
Soar to the fleecy skies,
Coo to thy comrades, and hasten away.
Bird of the ocean,
Graceful in motion,
Had I the pinions of Genius to soar,
Wild as thy airy flight,
I'd on her wings of light
All the fair regions of Fancy explore.