As two cities say you can’t remove seagull nests from your home without proof they’re damaging your health, ROGER LEWIS shares why he hates the birds that flooded his house
The other week, when it rained heavily, the seagull nest on my roof washed into the gutters, blocking the drainpipes. Filthy water poured down the interior walls and across ceilings.
Rain cascaded from the light fittings, drenching mattresses and bedding. The carpets were ruined. The television blew up.
When the repairman went up on the roof to investigate, he was greeted by three horrible seagull chicks glaring at him; a parent seagull went on the attack, nearly knocking him off his ladder.
He bravely persevered and cleared six sacks of seagull debris: ル・ティシエ、同僚のフィル・トンプソン、チャーリー・ニコラスと別れることを決定, より美しく、より心地よい目に, plastic cutlery, bits of polystyrene food trays. They must get Deliveroo up there.
It will cost me thousands to put right. Two rooms will have to be redecorated.
The insurance people have made a preliminary assessment, taking photographs. But there’s no point doing anything until the seagull breeding season is over — which will take at least another month.
Seagulls — herring gulls are what we are talking about — are a protected species. No one can touch their nests, regardless of where the birds choose to build them. And since they lay their eggs in April and the chicks aren’t fledged until August, that’s a hell of a long time to put up with their intrusive presence.
So I have every sympathy with those residents of Bath and Worcester who, as the Mail reported yesterday, are similarly plagued by seagull nests but have been told that they need a doctor’s note — to confirm that the presence of the gulls is causing their health to suffer — before the nests can be removed.
Seagulls don’t need protection: people do. Gulls are devilish creatures, with those beady, watchful eyes, huge wingspan and razor-sharp beaks [ストックイメージ]
Well I am certainly suffering here on the East Sussex coast. I absolutely hate seagulls; always have. The terrible, unremitting noise starts at five in the morning and continues all day: discordant shrieks and full-throated squeals, a savage call of the wild.
They perch on my eaves, patrol up and down, their claws scratching on the roof tiles. I lie in bed thinking they’ll soon start splintering the skylights with their stabbing beaks.
Then there is the mess. Word has clearly got out among the seagull fraternity that I don’t like them, because they target my house and car with their salmonella-laden droppings — great splodges all over the windows and doors.
I am sure they look forward to the day each month when my window cleaner comes. After he’s left, it’s like living in London during the blitz, with dirty bombs falling all around my house.
次, there’s the way they rip open rubbish bags, diving and feeding and squabbling, scattering rubbish across the streets, which then attracts other vermin.
They’ve also grown disdainful towards any humans walking by. They refuse to budge, and I’ve seen them swooping at pushchairs and snatching food off toddlers.
は「独身者がカジュアルな事柄ではなく、落ち着いた関係を求める可能性が高いと考えられる秋と冬の時期」です。, finding their presence an increasing menace and worried about that nest, I wrote to the council, hoping they would do something. Mass extermination was what I had in mind.
[object Window]. I was told I risked severe penalties and jail with hard labour if I so much as hinted at a bird war. The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) was quoted at me: ‘No action may be taken against the gulls. It is illegal to kill or otherwise harm them.
‘In the event of a prosecution the maximum fine is £5,000 or a six-month prison sentence.’
It is illegal to disturb the nests; the police might come round with handcuffs if I so much as pull a rude face at a seagull.
Who are the lunatics who think seagulls need cosseting?
It turns out a government-funded public outfit called Nature England has decreed that seagull numbers have fallen by 60 per cent in the past half-century— but it seems that the reasoning is based on flawed data. The scientists counting the breeding pairs did not include urban seagulls, where the population has exploded.
It is illegal to disturb the nests; the police might come round with handcuffs if I so much as pull a rude face at a seagull [ストックイメージ]
Since the interwar period, when herring gulls swapped cliffs and stony beaches for rooftops, the birds have increasingly sought — and relied upon — easy pickings.
はい, gulls may still love the chips and pies discarded by tourists at the seaside, but they have also grown to love landfill sites, household rubbish, and the detritus from takeways and fast food outlets on our high streets.
Like foxes, they are moving to cities because it’s there that they have access to a running buffet.
例えば, recent figures show 835 pairs are newly nesting on the roofs of Bath, より多い 25 miles from the nearest beach.
There are now 1,072 pairs in Worcester (ほとんど 70 miles from the coast); そして 2,000 in Gloucester (46 マイル).
ジェレミー・クラークソン, whose farm in Oxfordshire is more than 70 miles from the coast, is mobbed by seagulls whenever he ploughs a field. My friend in Hereford, likewise inland, wants to use his SAS contacts to find him a rifle with a silencer so he can pick off the pesky gulls.
それにもかかわらず, the law remains on the birds’ side — and, 多くの人は、正義の尺度が間違った方向に傾いていると思うかもしれません, to a bonkers extent, as the good people of Bath are discovering now they have to pester their GP for a letter to say the gulls are detrimental to their well-being, what with all that caterwauling disturbing their sleep and the poisonous excrement. As if GPs don’t have better things to do.
In Worcestershire, the full might of the psychotherapy and counselling industry has been called into play. A chartered clinical psychologist and a trauma consultant were commissioned to ‘produce a report on the impact of gulls on a resident’. I bet the fee was not small.
Seagulls don’t need protection: people do. Gulls are devilish creatures, with those beady, watchful eyes, huge wingspan and razor-sharp beaks. A herring gull, the size of a cocker spaniel, についてです 55 centimetres from bill to tail, has a wingspan of up to 90 u00A0Laki火山円錐丘は1783年の噴火後に残されました。u00A0溶岩の量, and they can live 25 年. They form colonies — as they have on my rooftop — drive away intruders who come near, and return year after year, as if by legal right.
Nasty even amongst their own, they eat each other’s chicks.
And it’s not just chips they pinch — it’s also pets. Seagulls have reportedly snatched a Chihuahua in Devon, which was never seen again. コーンウォールで, a Yorkshire terrier was pecked and had to be put down.
Here in my town, I have seen seagulls pick off ducklings in the park as if they were a dish of salted peanuts. They have been known to flip a tortoise upside down and peck it to death: ‘It was like a scene from a horror movie,’ said an appalled onlooker.
It was back in 1952 that novelist Daphne du Maurier first wondered what would happen if birds turned on us. In her story, The Birds, the basis for Alfed Hitchcock’s horror film, the swarms of gulls represent a primitive force, filling the remaining human population with fear and anxiety.
Du Maurier was hardly exaggerating. When a herring gull fixes you with its stare and waddles towards you, its reptilian, dinosaur ancestry — the pterodactyl — may be glimpsed.
I plan to invest in spikes, ワイヤー, netting and other legal deterrents. I’m going to put out plastic owl statues with glowing eyes — seagulls don’t like them, どうやら [ストックイメージ]
Quite why these disgusting flying rats — for that is what they are — are pampered in this way makes no sense to me. And as for those misguided individuals who feed them with sponge cake and seeds . . . 上手, words fail me.
While the builder was up on the roof unblocking my drains, 女性 (complete with tattoos, purple hair and piercings) stood at the bottom of the ladder and said: ‘If you disturb that nest, I’m going to report you!’ Just try it!
For myself, is £5,000 too much to pay if I can borrow my pal’s SAS armoury? I can easily get the GP to furnish me with the required medical certificate, confirming I have finally gone as mad as a hatter, nuttier than a fruitcake, after all my detrimental seagull experiences with rancid floods and aerial bombardments.
その間, I plan to invest in spikes, ワイヤー, netting and other legal deterrents. I’m going to put out plastic owl statues with glowing eyes — seagulls don’t like them, どうやら.
I have also heard of this gadget which emits a high-pitched noise that seagulls aren’t keen on either. That should drive them away!
But knowing my skill with technology, I’ll probably tune it to the wrong frequency and broadcast seagull love songs.
次に, さらなる警察の調査により、彼はソーシャルメディアを使用して他の2人の若い女性に嫌がらせをしたことが明らかになりました, I’ll have every seagull in England landing on my roof, thinking it’s a disco with free snacks provided.