Who you looking at?

The Grumpy Vegan hasn’t written much about Herring gulls this year. Number of reasons why. Primary one is that there’s been a significant reduction in the size of the Herring gull population in Hastings Old Town more so than in the previous years been here. Not sure why. One other noticeable difference is the number of magpies around. Now, they’ve mainly gone elsewhere; however, these birds are notorious for eating the eggs of other birds. Clearly, magpies need to go vegan! Anyway, whether these two points are related or not and to what extent, well, the Grumpy Vegan leaves that to the others more knowledgeable.

Went recently to the RSPCA Mallydams Wood wildlife rehabilitation centre, education centre and woodland nature reserve to listen to a talk on gulls. Really interesting. One thing of particular note is that since World War Two and the urbanisation of the population and move away from growing your own food and allotment life to supermarket shopping and packaging and the resulting need for landfills, the gull population grew from those clustered around ports and seaside towns and villages, like Hastings Old Town, to urban areas. Once again, our consumerist lifestyle causes problems! And one factor in all of this is the post-WW2 trend toward factory farming and not letting farmed animals live outside and helping to eat up our unwanted food. Of course, go vegan; but if you’re going to eat meat, eggs and dairy you owe it to the animals to make sure that food you’re eating comes from healthy, organic animals raised outside sustainably and humanely.

Anyway, back to the baby gulls. As they mature they tend to fall off the roofs where they’ve been nesting. This is always a fraught time for everyone: parent gulls, baby gulls and the rest of us who care about them. About a month ago we rescued one baby Herring gull and took her to Mallydams. Only the other day, one baby gull came crashing down into our back garden like a fallen angel. She was scooped up and put onto the green roof on top of our garden shed. “Who are you looking at?” she squawked. Hopefully, she made it to Swan Lake, well, boating pond, really, on the seafront which functions as a gull creche at this time of the year.

Here’s the Grumpy Vegan’s initial impression of what it is like to live among Herring gulls.

Sightings of badgers and foxes also continue in the Old Town. As well as tourists, pirates and foreign English language students.

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