Here in Worthing, seagulls are no strangers! I was reminded of this only recently when on one day I had three encounters. It started badly when I went to my car only to find that it had been bombed overnight. Birdlime can be difficult to remove when it is dry, and can damage paintwork if left un-cleaned.
I then went into the town and noticed gulls squabbling over the contents of a split refuse sack. The younger bird standing doggedly in the middle of the highway, giving me ‘the eye’ as if challenging my right to be on the road. Then, during the course of my inspection, I watched a potential problem being enacted in front of me.
As I walked up the path of the semi-detached bungalow, I saw him on the roof…. cocky, confident, fearless. He was a large male herring gull. In the garden below my client looked up and threw his lunch up towards him. The bird sprang to action and swooped into the garden squawking his approval and thanks. Other gulls nearby joined in the bun fight, and it was evident that this was a regular ritual.
I looked up to the roof and, just as I suspected, the chimney was constructed just below the roof ridge thereby forming a welcome platform for the construction of a gull’s nest. Notwithstanding the array of bird spikes visible the chimney ‘back gutter’ was blocked with twigs, polythene and vegetation. Some of the debris had become detached and was blocking the rainwater gutters below which were evidently over flowing.
I knew that the real problems would manifest themselves during the nesting season between March and September. These birds can be very aggressive and very noisy. They create mess and can be insanitary. And don’t think you can eject them from their nests…… Oh no! They are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 whereby it is an offence to interfere with an active birds’ nest.
To reduce the nuisance from gulls, don’t feed them! It’s antisocial and they will keep you and your neighbours awake at night!