Let’s wipe out the seagulls.
Not in a cruel or inhumane manner, of course – although why you’re not allowed to just shoot them has occurred to me around 3.40am, again at 4.30am, once more at 5.45am.
You see, I am living with gulls. A colony of them decided the rooftop of the lovely old Victorian building where I live is an ideal roost for raising their young.
Which wouldn’t be so bad if the blighters could just get on with it quietly. No, it has to be all shrieking and squawking, crying, crooning and screaming as they go about it.
Are the gulls playing five-a-side football on our roof?
It continues ad nauseam from early morning to late evening. As I write these words, there is the gull equivalent of a horde of chanting football fans outside my window. Literally outside my window. The window I have to keep closed no matter how much of a sweatbox my wee study becomes, because to open it would amplify the noise to a level that would have me running into the street screaming.
At dusk, our gull neighbours scream good night to each other like a warped, avian version of The Waltons
After work, when I’m at rest on the couch, the pause button for the telly is being worn out because we need to stop the action when the “awk-awk-awk-awk-awk-hoo-hoo-hooooo” outside drowns out the dialogue.
It’s not just the incessant calling. Because we live on the top floor, we can hear them stamping about up there. At times, I swear they are playing five-a-side football on our roof with boulders.
Then there is the stomp, stomp, swoop as they use the flat roof above our living room as a runway for take-off, diving down past our window, so close you almost duck.
The only respite we have is when it becomes dark – but even then, at dusk, our gull neighbours scream good night to each other like a warped, avian version of The Waltons.
We need the silence of the gulls
I know gulls are a protected species, for reasons that are hopelessly beyond my understanding. It’s not as if they are endangered. There are more of them in Aberdeen than people.
What gulls really need is to come face to face with a decent apex predator – that’ll be us, then
In addition, I am not convinced where they sit in the ecosystem, unless Mother Nature really feels the need for a species that rakes bins, steals sandwiches out your hand and dive-bombs terrified small children for their ice cream cones.
What gulls really need is to come face to face with a decent apex predator – that’ll be us then.
If the folk with big brains can find a vaccine for a global pandemic in a matter of weeks, they must be able to work out how to humanely cull the seagull population.
Or how about one of those high-pitched whining devices that were once used to stop unruly youths gathering in public places? Can we not come up with something like that to drive the gulls back to where they belong – the sea (the clue is in the name)?
I don’t really care how they do it, but could someone, anyone, give me the silence of the gulls?
Scott Begbie is entertainment editor for The Press & Journal and Evening Express