As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Vigilantes are patrolling town with guns to protect themselves from seagulls as big as dogs, MP warns

"People are having to take the law into their own hands," the MP for one seaside town warned

ByKate Ferguson
Dan Bloom
21:29, 7 FEB 2017

Seagulls as big as dogs have left pensioners in hospital and encouraged armed vigilantes to wander the streets, MPs claimed today.
A debate heard seaside towns face “gull wars” as menacing birds start breeding again this spring.

Berwick-on-Tweed’s Tory MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan said “plagued” locals were so fed up last summer that one began "their own cull" in the Scottish border town.

She told MPs in a Westminster Hall debate: "While appreciated in some quarters, [this] brought the risk that people are having to take the law into their own hands to deal with these really difficult and aggressive birds.

"Which means there are people wandering the streets of Berwick with firearms who really shouldn't be doing so.

"So the impact of that frustration is very, very real."

Gulls nesting in a bald constituent’s chimney "used their claws and beaks to attack the top of his head, causing quite a large amount of damage and pain”, he said.

He added: "As we head into the summer, we could very well see gull wars on our high streets."

Shadow environment minister Sue Hayman said some postmen had to be protected by a falconer whose trained hawk would “scare off” the birds.

Patricia Gibson, SNP MP for the seaside town of Largs, said locals were “risking life and limb” to keep ice cream and even a £20 note from “vicious” beaks.

Aberdeen North’s SNP MP Kirsty Blackman warned: "The Aberdeen seagull is the size of a large dog, it is absolutely ginormous, and it regularly gets mentioned.

"People that come to uni in Aberdeen from Glasgow or from elsewhere in Scotland or England are shocked at the size of these creatures because, they are not like normal seagulls, they are ginormous.”

"as big as dogs"?  Um.. so is that as big as a Irish wolfhound or as big as a Boston terrier? Or something in between?  

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