Chip central

News of seagull attacks in George Street confirms my view that despite the sterling efforts of the powers that be, the critters are more prolific than ever.

Anyone living within earshot of the strip of river between the station and Homebase (the roof of which appears to be this season’s ‘home base’ de rigueur) can testify to the almost hourly repeats of Hitchcock’s The Birds throughout the night.

After a deceptive lull, suddenly all hell breaks loose. The noise is astounding as the entire gull population takes to the air in a communal hysteria which I believe is associated with their chicks’ first flight. The fledglings have no sensibilities as to time of day or night for their experimental leaps into the abyss, and while the parents shriek encouragement (or more likely loudly take bets on the outcome of the mission), junior is shouting ‘Look at me, I can fly…whoops, no I can’t! Mummy, mummy, I’ve hurted my wing thingy!’

Despite the thrill expressed at their offspring’s’ aeronautical prowess, gulls are bad parents. I saw one scold a bleating youngster by grabbing it by the head and throwing it unceremoniously into the river…something I would dearly love to do to the equally loud parties of human teenagers , who, after keeping me up with their riverside carousing leave the debris of their greasy picnics for the delectation of those pesky gulls which descend in their hundreds with such unbridled glee one would be forgiven for thinking they had never seen a half-eaten hamburger meal before in their birdie lives.

As one feathered fellow said to me through a beakful of chip as he flew past my balcony, ‘Bath? We love it mate!’

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