Larus, the ravenous sea bird

It’s a sunny day at the seaside, the sky is blue with a few feathery clouds above your head, it’s warm but there is a cool breeze in the air, infused with a mix of the salty sea air and the fresh pine tree aroma… You’re enjoying a plate of  hot, buttery, fried fish when suddenly, something swoops down over you and knocks down your plastic plate with its sharp, strong, webbed feet. Before you know it your meal is covered in sand and is being devoured by a gang of scavengers.

Scavengers? At the seaside? That’s right. It’s the seagulls. Greedy, needy and maybe slightly heedy, these birds know the tricks of living the easy life. First of all, they steal any food anyone is holding at any time. Literally anything. Be it crisps, fried fish, a raisin roll with butter, ice cream: they will pinch it right out of your hands the moment you look away.

Secondly, they know how to conserve their energy. Have you seen the way they fly? It’s absolutely remarkable! They catch a current in the wind a glide noiselessly on the highway of air. Why would one want to flap their wings when one can simply take advantage of the weather? Seriously, they look like they could be paragliding or something.

And then there is the sounds they make. Squawks, long, whining sounds which you don’t necessarily want to wake up to but to me it really sounds like the sea is near. It sort of tunes in to the sounds of the waves and the wind…

I just love watching them. They are so much better than those filthy urban pigeons (a.k.a. obese flying rats) and they always get what they want. Many of you would think they are just annoying but I just like them. Full stop.

Seagulls… slim yachts of the element.

Robinson Jeffers

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