OLD GULLS LEARN NEW TRICK

The culprits disobligingly took off as soon as Spurtle's roving eye on the sky whipped out his camera this morning, but there's no mistaking the evidence. Eleven railing-mounted bin bags on the short western section of Fettes Row had been torn open by gulls, the contents strewn across the pavement.

The development will come as a blow to New Town residents who believed using railings would be a simple, free alternative to containerisation as a means of deterring pests. Clearly it is not.

What is more, if seagulls are anything like as bright as milk-bottle-opening blue tits, we can expect this new refinement on raiding to spread rapidly. The (ungreen) practice of adding a drop of bleach to the bag's content does not appear to work either – the birds don't notice it until they're already inside.

It really does seem that the time for wheelie-bins has come (see Issue 184).