In honour of the under-rated seagull

Mid-air mugging

I’ve always had great admiration for seagulls.

Sure, they are scavengers and don’t exactly have the best table manners but you have to admire a bird that does do well in such a hostile environment. Unlike us humans, they have the ability to adapt.

During a holiday in Sydney with he who is well-insured, we were adopted by a rather stroppy seagull at Darling Harbour. The feathered beastie had a distinctive squawk and spent an entire day following us around the harbour and chasing away any other bird that dared come near us. I guess he took the offering of a cheese roll crust from he who is well-insured as an invitation to friendship.

Our seagull encounter happened the day before we were due to come home and on arriving at Christchurch Airport the next day, we stepped off the plane to be greeted by a strangely familiar sounding squawk.

Now I’m not saying he’d followed us. Perhaps he had family here.

Either way, ever since then he who is well-insured has become something of a seagull magnet (not quite the sort of chick most blokes want to attract).

But back to the seagulls: it seems not a lot scares them, not even eagles. A gull has been photographed taking on an eagle in mid-flight in a battle for a fish dinner over the Norwegian fjords while another photographer has snapped yet another seagull mugging a puffin in mid-air for a feed of sand eels.

Well, I’m assuming it’s a different seagull. Maybe it’s just the one with a lot of frequent flyer points and an attitude problem.


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