I’m strolling around Hyde Park with my son. I’m pondering having an ice cream. We’ve had a lovely morning.
Naturally I have my camera with me.
I’m watching the crowds feed the ducks, swans and geese and see the strutting pigeons trying to get in on the act. There’s just one interloper, a gull with very yellow legs and a darker back – I think “That must be a Lesser Black Backed Gull.” It strolls around with the other birds and the food.
Suddenly it grabs one of the unwary pigeons by the back of the neck and flies a few paces into the lake:
It pecks it viciously:
There’s a struggle but the waterlogged pigeon is powerless against the strength of the Gull:
The Gull pecks the pigeons neck until it’s seemingly lifeless:
And then the Gull relaxes for moment beside the floating corpse:
There are signs of life, though, as the pigeon begins to twitch. The Gull finishes it off and bites huge chunks of flesh out of the pigeon.
I hear a small girl scream, her hands to her face.
I don’t, but I feel just the same.
I look at the back of my camera and turn to my son. “Did you just see that?”