Appetite for destruction
Amateur Gardening|February 06, 2021
Hungry herring gulls threaten Toby’s fish. Luckily, he has acquired a feathery plant that promises to save the day…
Toby Buckland

THE herring gulls are back at Casa Buckland, many from a migratory winter break in Portugal, Marbella or even Morocco. With their tans topped up and maybe a souvenir henna tattoo, they are now staking claim to the town’s rooftop eyries.

Herring gulls are big – 2ft (60cm) long with a 5ft (1½m) wingspan – and possess an entitled disposition that would make a hereditary peer seem humble. One even waltzed into our house to raid the cat’s bowl. Had my daughter not scooped up and ejected the bird (she’s an expert chicken handler), I’ve no doubt that it would still be in the lounge with its webbed feet up on the sofa.

Gulls have adventurous appetites and everything, from sausages on the barbecue to bin bags left beside the back door, is fair game. But if they do have a favorite, then it’s got to be takeaway goldfish from the pond.

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