This gull looks very innocent,
standing on the quayside,
but many of his family
cause big problems at the seaside.
They’re growing pretty vicious
and at times completely nasty
if they spot a kid with sandwiches,
an ice-cream or a pastie.
If you’re outdoors with a picnic
on a beach or up on deck,
gulls may dive-bomb and they’ll steal it
and they don’t mind who they peck.
So please do not encourage them,
don’t throw them little crumbs,
then fewer frightened children
will go crying to their mums.
And if you have a bite to eat
and gulls are hanging round,
keep well undercover
if a shelter can be found.
© Celia Warren 2016
Some years ago, I was eating a pastie near where I live in Dartmouth, Devon, when a gull, in one swift swoop, stole half my pastie, and flew off. It seemed quite funny at the time, but I’ve never eaten in the street since. Now gulls are causing injuries, especially to children, as they grow ever more aggressive in seaside resorts, so much so that the problem was featured on our local TV news last night. Apparently, and incredibly, they are a protected species, so even if people and pets are at risk there is nothing you can do, except stay indoors, especially if you’re eating. One poor family had their Yorkshire terrier carried off from their garden by a gull. Many children have received cuts and bruises from direct attacks from the birds. Much as I love birds, it does sound quite scary. If you’re at the seaside, try and eat safely under cover.