Seagulls are masters of surprise.
I’m in Teignmouth this morning and there are warning signs everywhere about the gulls.
Herring Gulls are marvellous opportunists and will pick the perfect moment to swoop. We’re in The View Cafe, which is a cafe with a view over Teignmouth Pier.
I can see a Gull on the top of a post with a Union Flag fluttering below it. Suddenly it swoops on an unsuspecting young couple and pecks the ice cream from his cornet. He’s powerless to stop it. His friend chases it and aims a helpless kick at it as it wheels away on the wind. A man with a pastie reacts with anger as one swoops from behind to take bite. He doesn’t feel like eating it now. His partner puts the sorry remains on top of a green wheelie bin and suddenly there’s a score or more of them heading, with steely determination, to pick it up.
It’s an everyday drama being played out across seaside towns. When there are people with food and hungry birds there will always be tension.
Despite the notices, the people take as much notice of the written warnings as the Herring Gulls do:
These Herring Gulls look as if they are resting, yet they are actually perched for hunting, alive to every opportunity.
We have lunch at The Shellfish Pot. My dad thinks that they serve “The best prawn sandwich I’ve ever had”, which is quite some recommendation; my dad is someone who knows his prawns.
There’s just time for a quick sand-on-the-sandals moment on the beach before my parking runs out.
This juvenile gives me a view down his gullet I could really have done without. Charming!