At 5.30 this morning, I looked out of the window and saw three gulls lying dead in the road. Two were last year's brood as I saw from their remaining brown feathers, and one was a breeding adult.
The next door restaurant puts out bin liners full of such tasty morsels that the gulls just cannot resist ripping them open to pull them out and squabble over the bounty. My guess is that the adult was busy scaring away the two juveniles, so didn't notice the car speeding round the bend until it was too late. Three in one hit. That's good going, especially since all of them were killed outright - thankfully. I didn't want to have to go down to finish a flapping one off.
An early rising Chinese tourist couple walked past, and the woman posed right next to them with the view of Great Pulteney Street providing a backdrop. She even struck a crappy pose before they noticed the dead gulls and walked away.
Then this man in the photo above turned up. I think he was Eastern European and I think he has some issues to do with his mental health, but I could be wrong on both counts.
He stopped and looked at them for a while, then walked to the middle of the road where they lay, picking each one up and carefully folding their wings against the bodies before placing them in the gutter in the neat diagonal row you can see above.
He spent about 15 minutes with them, performing some sort of heart-felt ceremony, stroking each one tenderly, muttering words, holding his arms outstretched with palms turned upwards as he addressed the flock of living gulls which circled above as they gave off alarm-calls.
He stepped back a few paces to where you see him in the picture, and spent some more minutes in silent vigil. Then he walked away to God knows where.
I hope I will receive as much respect when I die as this homeless man showed to the three gulls, even if it is only from one person.