A Sunday calm rippled across the lake at South Norwood Country Park. Canada Geese paddled gently towards me hoping for a scrap of bread, while a Heron kept watch from the opposite bank. One or two black headed gulls bobbed peacefully.
Then the bread arrived.
All hell broke loose as the sky turned black with the beating wings of a hundred gulls. Mallards were scattered in all directions. Coots made for the banks. The Geese, startled, held their ground and opened their beaks, showing their tongues to the bread vendor. A small girl, barely tall enough to see over the fence, began hurling bread at the gulls, laughing hysterically.
The girl began to taunt the gulls, holding the bread, arm outstretched, forcing them to hover and beg in front of her. It was quite a spectacle. Each gull could only manage a few seconds before having to swoop round and join the queue. Some were more successful than others. The girl carried on, untiring, handful after handful until eventually she ran out of ammunition.
The gulls spotted that their bread ticket had expired and in one large black swoop, they left the lake. Part of me wanted to tell the family that you’re not supposed to feed birds bread, while the other part wanted to thank them for the performance. I did neither and left with the gulls.
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