I Want Your Sandwich. Now.

Seagull2-201303

We were sitting in the car in a car park in St. Ives, Cornwall, when this inquisitive – and hungry – seagull landed on the bonnet. He knew we had started eating our lunch and wanted a piece of the action. He paced up and down, looking at us menacingly – like the bad penguin in Nick Park’s ‘The Wrong Trousers’.

Eventually – as soon as we had finished eating – he got bored and flew away. I was really pleased we had the car windscreen between us! The seagulls in St. Ives are huge and – as mentioned earlier – quite menacing. There are signs displayed everywhere warning people not to feed the seagulls as they will attack.

Advertisements

45 thoughts on “I Want Your Sandwich. Now.

  1. Years ago I visited St. Ives in Cornwall. A seagull landed on my head, grabbed my sandwich out of my hands, and flew off. I had never seen such aggressive birds before!

    Like

    • Thank you, skippingstones! I wouldn’t have dared to get so close without something inbetween! I was thinking of designing a protective suit which would let me eat my chips without being attacked πŸ™‚

      Like

    • Finn – are you kidding? All the signs say that if you feed the seagulls they will come and attack the children. How would I have felt if I’d read in the news the following day that a seagull had flown off with a two year old in its mouth. Nope: safest not to feed them πŸ™‚

      Like

      • I’m glad I’ve never seen that sign. I always share my lunch with them. My feeding highlight though was last year on the Isle of Wight when I shared my fish and chips with a raven! I just can’t help myself, fortunately though my kids are too big now to be carried off by a gulls. Just as well eagle owls are still rare though because I’d have to fed them too πŸ™‚

        Like

        • Of course it’s wonderful to feed birds but St. Ives does seem to have a very big problem. I’ve never seen warning signs at any other seaside I’ve visited. Makes me wonder why the problem is so bad there. It’s a very densely packed place with dozens of eateries along the harbour. Maybe they just love pasties πŸ™‚

          Like

  2. Helsinki is full of sea-gulls and unfortunately they are notorious – especially the ones downtown near the harbour. I have seen these giant seagulls swoop down and lift an entire hamburger from a woman’s grasp just as she was going to take a bite into it!! But this is a terrific shot! Sharon

    Like

    • Many thanks, Sharon. Yes – an internet search of these huge herring gulls at St. Ives throws up many many examples of similar incidents: ice-creams, pasties, chips – everything – snatched from the hands of people who have just bought the food from one of the numerous cafes on the harbour front!

      Like

  3. Great pic! A good reason to keep a clean windscreen πŸ™‚
    I remember walking along a tourist beach with a friend who had food in his hand, close to his mouth, and yes, a seagull swooped in and took it all away. Emus can develop similar food behaviours in places frequented by tourists – and they are a heap bigger than gulls!

    Like

    • Yes – the windscreen was particularly clean that day πŸ˜‰ I thought these gulls were big and scary enough – but an emu is on another level altogether! Thanks, E!

      Like

  4. Great shot M, nicely exposed against the light sky.

    He does look a bit menacing and totally agree with your decision not to feed them.

    Last time I was in St. Ives a lady was buying a pasty from a shop front, the guy said “Be sure to cover it when you’re eating it.” She turned round and it was immediately snatched from her grasp by a gull – they have no fear!

    Steve

    Like

    • Many thanks, Steve. Sounds as if a few of us have experienced the terror of the St. Ives gulls! I couldn’t believe the signs all around; I’ve never seen signs warning of attacks in any other seaside place. They seem to be a very big problem. We wondered whether the pasty and ice-cream sellers are training them in order for people to buy another pasty or ice-cream after it’s been snatched πŸ™‚ Could be true πŸ˜‰

      Like

    • And you would be doing the right thing, Sallyann. These gulls are huge herring gulls and they don’t seem afraid of anything. They really do rule the sea front here.

      Like

    • He wanted sandwiches, chips, pasties, ice-cream, other birds’ chicks, small children and adults, windscreen wipers – everything really! These birds don’t go hungry πŸ™‚ Many thanks, JP.

      Like

  5. Now, I’m truly a friend of animals in general, but gulls attacking children? That’s quite a bit beyond the pale. I’d say it’s time for a little negative reinforcement here. How about pretending you’re having a “normal” seaside lunch of sandwiches full of jalapeΓ±oβ€”or even better, habaΓ±eroβ€”peppers and “pretend” to abandon them to the most insistent parasites?

    Like

    • An internet search of “seagulls, St.Ives and attack” throws up so many incidents of people of all ages being attacked all the time. The worse one I read was of a small child who was left with an imprint of a seagull’s foot on its head!

      I also read that the council are trying hawks to discourage the numbers. It’s quite an extreme problem there.

      Seagulls have always been a familiar part of the British seaside so one is used to them being around but I’ve never seen them as huge or aggressive anywhere else.

      Like

    • Thank you, Shakti. With all the signs warning of the aggressive behaviour of these birds, it would have been irresponsible – as day trippers – to have compounded a problem the residents and visitors to St. Ives have to endure. There are numerous accounts of attacks and it is quite an extreme step for a council to put up warning signs at the seaside. Although we didn’t have any left over food – any we might have had would have been better used feeding the small birds and mammals which visit our garden.

      Like

  6. HILARIOUS!! I thought I was having one of my moments when I burst out laughing upon seeing this. My words thought, oh shit, I can’t tell her that this bird image is FUNNY! And, then the story filled in my laughs and it is all right! I love the stories a photograph tells.

    Like

    • I wanted it to be funny. In fact, when I put the title to the image, it made me chuckle straight away – and still does! This gull has become a caricature. I can’t get the image of him carrying off a small child or adult. I’ll never look at them in the same way ever again ……..

      I’m pleased it made you laugh out loud πŸ™‚

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s