Some people find the distinctive ‘arc arc’ sound rather annoying – and it’s certainly awkward when they go for your fish and chips – but it also has a potent ability to evoke the sea shore.

Do excuse my geekiness, but they always bring to my mind Legolas’s words in The Lord of the Rings:

their wailing voices spoke to me of the sea! The sea! Alas! I have not yet beheld it, but deep in the hearts of all my kindred lies the sea-loving, which it is perilous to stir. Alas! for the gulls. No peace shall I have again under beech or under elm…Alas for the wailing of the gulls!