Have Littlehampton’s herring gulls had their chips?

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August 13, 2015 by Whispering Smith

KNOWING that herring gulls are not currently fashionable does not stop me liking them, admiring their parenting skills or having the pleasure of waking to their raucous calling from my chimney pot, this is a seaside town after all said and done. I know they eat babies, cats and small dogs because I read it in a tabloid newspaper but so do foxes, I also read that in a red top, as in all likelihood do badgers. The gulls see our houses as clifftops and the discarded food we so carelessly leave as waste on our streets as a reasonable source sustenance. We eat their fish why should they not eat our chips if we leave them out? The other day I witnessed a mother feeding the birds chips on the prom with her very young child beside her dodging the screeching birds, not an activity to be encouraged. A mishap and the gulls get more negative publicity. And no justification either for moaning about their pooping on us from time to time as  we have been pumping our effluent into their habitat for yonks. They see us as ideal hosts and our tall houses as places to make homes and raise their young and this latter occupation is the usual reason they become so grumpy this time of the year. My neighbour has his usual nest on the roof and I have watched the chicks fledge, safely this year I hope. Last year one was carted off by a fox shortly after touching the ground and the other was victim to a Volkswagen Micro Bus. It may well be that the government and the conservationist need to have the herring gull population reassessed but I do think in these cash strapped times that there are better, more worthy and pressing  ways to spend  250,000 quid. Cancer research and research into the care and treatment of Alzheimer patients are just two.

A FINE sunny day blessed the excellent regatta as it did the cricket match in the Arundel Castle Cricket Ground last weekend and I am hoping for good weather again on Saturday evening for the Screen on the Green showing of Mama Mia, not a great movie but a good excuse to be with friends, a glass or two and a picnic, not that I ever need an excuse…

Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette August 6th 2015

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