Junk-food crazed flying devils of the English coasts

Seagulls blog

Seagull sketches  (A5 graphite on A5 sketchbook page 2015)

In England, seagulls have acquired a bad reputation: they steal your ice cream cones and grab your sandwiches; attack children and old people for no obvious reason; crazed on fast food leftovers they swoop down on small dogs and cats and then turn on each other. In Brighton and London there is talk of culling them to reduce the dangers posed by these wild-eyed flying devils with unlimited resources of anger and razor sharp beaks.

Last week we spent some days in North Devon where the seagulls seemed more reasonable. I did spend some time watching three of them sitting on a rowing boat, and whenever a fourth arrived one of the three had to clear off, instead of just rearranging themselves so that all had some private space.

The gulls in these sketches, however, were much more reasonable. Perhaps there are fewer fast food leftovers in North Devon and they’re less brain-damaged by additives and chemicals, but on Woolacombe Beach they seemed to co-exist reasonably enough with us and with each other, picking over pieces of leftover food and the occasional cigarette end without too much aggression. These sketches were each completed in under a minute before they moved on. I thought of polishing them up into finished drawings but they’re reminders, as they stand, of a sunny afternoon on a sandy beach in early September. No dogs, old people or ice cream cones were damaged in the making of these sketches.

20 thoughts on “Junk-food crazed flying devils of the English coasts

  1. Wonderful, as ever, Michael. I was once menaced by a seagull the size of a Jack Russell in the South of France – once I had moved off he inserted his head into a jug full of mayonnaise and just sucked the whole lot up. Must have had ghastly acid reflux afterwards….

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Lovely sketches Michael. As annoying as seagulls can be, they are a handsome bird. I too have been nearly assaulted by a brazen seagull, wanting my sandwich. I finally threw him a piece so I could eat in peace! We probably all have a story or two of seagulls. I laughed at Sarah’s remarks. (Lol)

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  3. We rented an oceanfront beach house a few years ago and a flock of gulls wanted my cereal more than I did lol! But I can’t help loving them still. I really like your sketches and the way the birds are arranged on the page too, Michael. I’m glad you kept them as they are.

    Liked by 1 person

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