Herald comment: Seagulls, they’re harmless creatures aren’t they?

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As a coastal town, we’ve come to live with seagulls in Eastbourne by accepting them as part of the scenic backdrop.

Yes, the might wake us up at some ungodly hour with their early morning squawking, peck at our food or beg for scraps on the seafront, and ravage unguarded rubbish bags leaving debris strewn across the street.

But seagulls are harmless creatures, aren’t they?

Not so, it seems, if you’re a postman, following reports that in Eastbourne the mail was not being delivered in one street because of the fear of seagull attacks.

And now we learn that one woman was treated by medics with a head-wound after being dive-bombed.

There have been similar reports of similar attacks in a Cornish village.

It is like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie with more than a kilo of angry bird travelling at 65mph.

Swooping gulls are prevalent at this time of year since their fledglings have hatched and are unable to fly.

Adult gulls become highly territorial and protective of their young.

And if you get too close, they will use a variety of tactics to drive you away.

Britain’s urban gull population which thrives on scavenging off scraps, is growing by 20 per cent a year.

There’s not much you can do but be tolerant, keep your eyes and ears open, and if a gull does attack then duck and shield your head.