Have you ever been asked the question "will a gull eat a balloon?". No, nor me. Now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology you can answer that question. Read on.
Initially I thought it intersting that a gull had found a balloon on the foreshore (and ironically only a few days after Thames21 had done a big clean up in the area) and thought that it might be investigating this new thing in it's life.
But it decided that it needed a wash, becuase it probably mistook it for a lugworm or something similar.
At this point I thought that it had realised it's folly and was going to leave it alone. Sensibly.
But it picked it up again, and with a flick of it's head it had it in the correct place for an efficient swallow...
It was at this point that I realised that the bird was actually going to eat the bloody thing. By waving my hands in the area and swearing loudly at the gull, I thought that it might be persuaded to take flight and drop it. But with what it thought was a lugworm that big though, it wasn't going to budge. With hindsight, I should have known that it may well of flown off, but it wouldn't have dropped it as that isn't what gulls tend to do.
It swallowed it.
It then proceeded to have a little drink and carried on feeding in the river.
Then it had a preen.
And then it had a kip.
Unless it regurgitates it (which I have seen in gulls before) it's shortly going to be a very, very, dead gull indeed. I know it's only a gull, and not an uncommon one and that I am not one for shying away from nature when it is at it's most raw and unforgiving. If this gull was killed by a Peregrine I would have loved it. But this is at the other end of the scale, the shitty end of urban birding.