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Angry Birds

The real ones

· Hitchcock birds gull

Hitchcock (and Daphne du Maurier) were right. Birds are dangerous creatures, especially right now when nesting season coincides with human lockdown. So, while many animals are benefitting from the empty streets, for the scavengers, it's a nightmare. Down here, on England's sunny south coast, the seagulls are getting desperate. I saw one yesterday tearing chunks out of Bexhill's De La Warr Pavilion. Doesn't it know that's a listed building? Or has it developed a craving for lime mortar?

There have been reports in recent years (this picture was in the Sun last year) of aggressive birds stealing bags of chips and ice creams. Small dogs are carried off (owners of chihuahuas and Yorkshire terriers, watch out) in the gulls' talons and these birds are eating other birds, sometimes (like this hapless starling) whole and possibly still alive.

But now, they're roaming the streets in desperation (and they do seem to be actually walking about more than usual), bereft of take-aways and hapless tourists. When we sit on the balcony, we are armed with a stick to wave at them. Perhaps what is really weird here is that seagulls (unlike people) are protected. Personally, I think that boot definitely belongs on the other foot. Hitchcock (and du Maurier) knew exactly what was going on.

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