Danger from Above - Seagulls
John walks out of the small take-away holding a steaming portion of fish 'n' chips. I see him walking towards me whilst I wait at the top of the street. He opens the lid of the Styrofoam box, smiles in anticipation and just as he's about the pop the first chunky chip into his mouth, a white flash suddenly 'swooshes' past his left ear - then above him, all hell breaks loose with loud squawks and squeals. John's pace quickens, I start giggling, and by the time he's half-way up the street he's running and I'm in complete fits of laughter watching him throw chips over his shoulder; each chip buying him a few extra metres without being dive-bombed by the flock of about 80 seagulls that are now hot on his heels. He reaches me and smiles triumphantly: "ha-HA! They got most of my chips but I've saved my Haddock!" Well, I'm not sure how much of a triumph that actually is.....
Seagulls are common all over the UK especially along the coast where they've been successful fish-eating predators for many centuries. Nowadays, they've evolved into more of an omnivorous scavenger - taking full advantage of discarded food by the human population and in Inverness, there are plenty of them.
Now, most of you know that I'm a great lover & friend of animals so I don't mind the seagulls and their naughty (and sometimes destructive) antics. They were there first, long before humans arrived and were the cause of the birds' new, bold behaviour. I think they are gorgeous, intelligent and funny. However, even I have to admit that on my very first trip to Inverness I was slightly intimidated by their SIZE: they are certainly much larger than the seagulls we see back in Dubai!
It's hilarious to see how smart these birds are & how they've carefully observed human behaviour. One late night after coming out of a pub on Church Street we saw a group of people coming out of a Kebab shop, each carrying food. Two large seagulls sat nearby and only 'homed-in' on one of the people in the group: a hopelessly drunk man stumbling around, almost dropping his food on numerous occasions. They know which people are easy targets, haha!
This may sound like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie but they are the true locals of Scotland's coastal towns, they're simply a part of life and to me the sound-track of Inverness is the occasional sound of bag pipes from open souvenir shop doors and the constant 'yodelling' of the seagulls. But I guess they can be a nuance especially when they leave white smelly splats on your car, windows, restaurants' outdoor seating areas and if you're really LUCKY: on your head.
Yes, that wasn't a typo, I said *lucky*. Where I come from there's an old saying that it's good luck when a bird poops on you. So when 2 days before our wedding a seagull landed a direct hit on my head I wasn't all too annoyed - the day of our wedding came & it was grey and rainy ALL morning & afternoon until the ceremony started - suddenly the clouds cleared and we were blessed with perfect dry & mild weather for the entire duration of our celebrations. Thank you, dear seagull!
(By the way, the photo is courtesy of my loving aunt who - instead of helping me - grabbed my arm, laughed out loud and said "Stop! Gotta take a photo, that's too funny!" Thanks auntie... love you too...)
So, rather than a warning this is rather a collection of stories to prepare you for the infamous seagulls of Inverness :-)
-> Information by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) on Herring Gulls:
-> The smaller, slightly less confrontational Black-Headed Gull:
-> The untouchables dive in - seagulls under protection:
-> Seagulls steal food from school children:
-> Seagull turns shoplifter in Aberdeen:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel
My company use to stay at the Marriott but my company stopped when the hotel was sold.
I am not sure of the name now, but all the locals warned me. That it is very haunted. Room 1 all the drawers shake all night long and it is extremly cold in the room.
So please ask if you go to a hotel if it use to be a Marriott. If so, don't get room 1.
Not so much a danger as much as an annoyance, but be warned that public transport can finish rather early in the area. Make sure you check the bus times or whatever before you leave, as the only other option after buses are taxis, which can cost a fair bit!
- Study Abroad
- Budget Travel
Fort George near Inverness is an historic fortress, but is still also in use by the army. Don't know how accurate the warning sign is, but when we were there we could hear the sound of machine gun fire. Probable best not take anything home or kick things around here!
- Road Trip
If you are not careful, you...
If you are not careful, you may run across those with a different sense of normal. If you are quiet and don't attract their attention, you may escape unscathed.
- Book now for big savings!
- Hotels.com Outstanding choice of hotels all over the world at fantastic prices.
- Book online.
- Hotels.com See maps & reviews for over 140,000 Hotels worldwide!