'A piece of pasty hit the floor: The place erupted'
TO see whether seagulls have become more aggressive, West Briton reporter Jason Lock ventured out into the streets to see whether he could avoid their attention.
IT'S a terrifying annoyance to be the victim of a seagull's signature dive-bomb attack.
Luckily, I had managed to avoid my food being pinched by hungry seagulls up until now.
Rolling off the back of a comment made by the RSPB that seagull complaints are at the highest they've been over the past decade in Cornwall, I wanted to put this to the test.
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I left West Briton towers and walked the short distance into Truro's city centre, where it had been reported seagull attacks were on the rise.
The centre was alive with the hubbub of busy shoppers and sure enough, there were seagulls around, hanging out on roofs and squawking loudly, but there was no threat of attack.
People were happily walking around Lemon Quay chowing down on pasties, chips and the odd sandwich, not put off by the seagulls' presence. I strolled up past Truro's bus station and spotted Rowe's Cornish pasty shop on the corner.
"I don't know what a seagull eats, presumably anything, and I didn't have a rubbish bag for them to pick apart, so I bought a medium-sized traditional Cornish pasty.
Perching on a bench on Lemon Quay, tucking into the pasty, it wasn't long before I was under observation by seagulls.
I'm sure some sort of sub-sonic, inaudible alert was sent out, possibly from a scouting seagull, because within a few minutes I was surrounded.
On the lamp posts, emerging from foliage behind me, scuttling under the bench pecking at crumbs that had fallen from my pasty, they were everywhere.
Then it went crazy.
A small piece of pasty crust fell away and hit the floor. As if a sudden trip-switch was hit, the place erupted. Seagulls descended from everywhere, fighting and squawking, ignoring the fact I was sat there eating lunch, all to get that little bit of discarded pasty.
Instinct told me to cover my head, but that was no good as in my hand was my unfinished pasty, which sent the seagulls up into the air in a bid to fetch it out of my grasp.
But that seemed pretty standard. When the noisy birds are around, you expect to be mobbed when food hits the floor.
But what I wasn't expecting is how bold one cheeky seagull was about to get.
It was lurking behind me on the bench and I hadn't given him much attention, I had angled my body slightly away from the throng of birds to protect myself.
It leant through my arms and smashed its beak right through the centre of my pasty.
As I let it go with a yelp, two seagulls in quick succession dived over my head and attacked the first. It was a seagull free-for-all.
In a few short moments there was nothing left and the birds retreated back to their perches.
I am not saying this is typical everyday life in central Truro, but it is something that happened to me. And to top it all off as I left Lemon Quay an onlooker made a beeline for me saying "it's illegal to feed the birds".