Seafront seag­ulls are just ‘rats with wings’

The Oban Times - - News -

READ­ERS have been telling us their seag­ull sto­ries this week – and the ‘rats with wings’ don’t come out in the most favourable of lights.

An en­demic prob­lem in most sea­side towns, seag­ulls are pro­tected by law and can­not be culled.

Many Oban Times read­ers be­lieve the prob­lem is cause by peo­ple feed­ing them, and as more and more peo­ple re­port that the bold birds are snatch­ing chips and sand­wiches from the hands of un­sus­pect­ing tourists and res­i­dents, it seems peo­ple want some­thing done about the sit­u­a­tion.

Laura Máirtín said that in June 2013 she was eight weeks preg­nant and about to faint with hunger. She said: ‘I bought a sand­wich and was eat­ing it walk­ing through Home­base car park, one bite in and a seag­ull flew down and grabbed it out of my hand – felt like the thing ac­tu­ally used its wing to knock me on the head as some kind of tac­tic to stun me dur­ing the process.’ Gor­don Cooper wrote on The

Oban Times Face­book page: ‘My late dad used to feed seag­ulls fish scraps out in the bun­ga­low scheme in Gana­van, where he lived.

‘A few be­came dozens. Lots of neigh­bours rightly com­plained as the gulls were lin­ing up on their rooftops and cre­at­ing havoc at an early hour. A po­lite visit from a coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tive put a stop to my dad’s pas­time.’

Oban­ite Karen An­der­son said: ‘I have the same seag­ull that comes same time ev­ery day knocks on the win­dow and calls for me.’

Kerry Smith said: ‘I still re­mem­ber when I was about five years old, that is 30 years ago, that a seag­ull with just one leg bite my fin­ger! Still re­mem­ber it to this day. He is prob still out there.’

In­nis Camp­bell said: ‘ When I was very young and af­ter sit­ting on my dad’s knee (An­gus Camp­bell) while he was dock­ing the fa­mous High­land Se­abird in at the North Pier, I was walk­ing down the gang­plank and sev­eral large seabirds de­cided to use me as poo tar­get.

‘I was cov­ered from head to toe, it’s one of my ear­li­est mem­o­ries.’

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