Eiders on the beach
Some seaside resorts have problems with gulls, even resorting to culling them. Here at the Ythan estuary their problems are with Eiders, they've simply taken over the beach and won't tolerate intrusions of any sorts.
Some locals were telling us the story of a coach load of German tourists that arrived last weekend. After checking into their hotel and having a good night's rest, they got up early and before breakfast were off to the beach to place their towels in the prime spots.
They hadn't reckoned on the Eiders though and as soon as they were on the beach they found themselves surrounded by Eiders. They may look like placid ducks, but you don't want to make an enemy of an Eider. There's a lot of power in that bill, it can easily crack open a mussel and when they get themselves organised into hunting packs they're a fearsome force.
Well without going into the gory details I'm afraid to report that the tourists were no match for the packs of Eiders. They never did return to their hotel for breakfast, their coach left the village later that day, with no passengers on board, just a few bales of filling for the local duvet jacket and sleeping bag manufacturers. I don't know who actually discovered the insulation qualities of ground down German tourists, but it certainly provides a welcome boost to the local manufacturing industry.