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A seagull in St Ives

August 19th, 2015

I’m a seagull and I love St Ives, especially in the summer. Despite thousands of years of evolution I am committed to eating ice cream, cornish pasties, chips and anything else I can get my beak on.

The spot

From my vantage point high up in the sky (but not too high to miss things) I have a fantastic overview of all the people eating their yummy food. I have evolved to dive on fish swimming in the sea so you and your slow moving legs (even when running) are no match for my instincts.

Remember… a pasty is only as fast as the person eating it.

Assessing the obstacles

Despite the plethora of opportunity I have to be careful of obstacles. Walls are my enemy – they get in my way and it means I can’t swoop properly, anyone eating up against a wall is pretty safe as are those in tents on the beaches. I do love it though when people are eating happily in their tent and, in a fit of boldness, pop out to watch a surfer or talk to a friend – that’s when I make my move, when they are least expecting it.

Things in paper bags can sometimes throw me but I’m learning that 90% of the time there’s something yummy inside it so I just grab it anyway.

My partner in crime

Occasionally I need a partner in crime, someone to distract while I set up the swoop. I don’t always use them but some of my mates need to be trained in the art of the swoop so they hang around distracting you while I show them how it’s done.

The swoop

You won’t see me. You’ll be in shock. I am super fast and despite my size I rarely leave a mark. I have been known to accidentally scratch or frighten but trust me I don’t do it on purpose – why would I want to hurt you? You’re ace, you bring me ice cream.

The aftermath

I don’t often get a round of applause, although I do deserve one: There’s very often embarrassed laughter or shouts from those who have witnessed my deftness and dexterity. Most of all there’s disappointment that the food you just bought didn’t even touch your lips.

I’ve sometimes seen people ask for another item from the vendor because I took the first one but don’t blame them, I didn’t ask their permission before taking your food – it’s just so much easier than catching fish. Like shooting fish in a barrel so to speak.

An official apology

I really am sorry. It won’t stop me but I do apologise: I was here first after all.


This seagull wishes to remain anonymous but has stated that he has no interest whatsoever in what people are eating in the Cohort courtyard, with 4 surrounding walls it makes life very difficult, so you’re safe – for now.

Main photo by Mark Beazley of Horizon Images

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