Aliso Beach in South Laguna has always been a favorite hangout for the local seagull population and thus experiences what I would call seagull mayhem. Often called flying rats, this bird type is often a source of annoyance at Aliso. I have personally seen a seagull swoop down on a little girl and snatch a sandwich out of her hand sending her in tears to her parents. I have also seen a seagull reach it’s beak into a trash can from the top and fish out a half eaten burrito that he flew off in to the distance with. I didn’t know they liked Mexican Food! LOL! No one is safe around them when food is present, and if you leave food unattended, they will get into it while your back is turned. They tend to congregate around set ups looking for something to pick at and drag away unbeknownst to people and families who have momentarily turned their backs on these intelligent and pestering birds.
Maybe seagull mayhem happens because this small slice of Laguna is their home, or maybe it is because people who frequent this beach are feeding them. I have seen a man roll up in a small SUV early in the morning driving around the parking lotMore likely the reasons for their behavior are a combination of both, with seagulls present daily morning to night and emboldened by those who offer them a free meal. Do these things even know how to catch fish anymore? This is a legitimate question.
One of the problems associated with the congregation of local seagulls at Aliso Beach, is that they bathe in waters of Aliso Creek backed up at the high tide berm at the beach. Seagulls are made to poop as they take flight to lighten their load. As regular visitors to the creek waters, the fecal bacteria counts in that creek water are pretty much always elevated. Add to this the people that feed them and the overstuffed trash cans from summer beach days and you have the recipe for nasty water. Inevitably, the creek breaks the berm and empties its content into the waters of Aliso Beach carrying along all the pollution, bacteria and toxicity to the waters we play in. To say that seagulls wreak havoc on the beach is an understatement.
Yesterday I checked the surf before 7:00 am and seagull mayhem was on full display. Trashcans that were spilling over with trash and half eaten items was ripe for the picking through by our local seagulls. They ripped the trash cans apart spreading chip bags and food wrappers all over the beach. It is probably a good idea that the trash is emptied during the summer season and holiday weekends at night rather than early in the morning. If not, we can expect that seagulls will spread half the content of the trash cans all over the beach as they fight each other for whatever scraps they can pull out.