Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Peacocks invade Lancashire village


Forget divebombing seagulls, there is a new menace stalking the streets – peacocks.
An ostentation of more than a dozen peacocks and peahens has invaded Banks, near Southport, devouring fruit and vegetables in people's gardens, devastating flower beds and leaving droppings on cars and driveways.
Villagers are at a loss to explain where the colourful birds have come from and their mysterious arrival follows a recent plague of feral chickens which were driven out after months of running wild on the estate.
The sight of sparring peacocks in the middle of a road has even forced traffic to a halt on numerous occasions since they took up residence in the well-to-do community.
Jean O’Hanlon, 71, told the Daily Mail: "They’re absolutely beautiful but they’re a damn nuisance. They make the most horrendous noise, all through the night."
She said that she often tries to chase the birds with a feather duster or her husband's walking stick, but they "don't seem frightened at all".
On one occasion she heard "an almighty crash" and rushed outside to find that a large peacock had leapt onto a neighbour’s greenhouse and fallen through the glass.
"They’re everywhere,"she said. "Some of us have got water pistols. We thought it would be a way of frightening them without hurting them, but that doesn’t work either.
"In the road, they sit down and won’t budge. Cars have to stop until they decide to move."
One woman complained that a peacock pecked a dent in her car when it caught sight of its reflection in the paintwork and began to spar with it.
Neighbour Cathy Bell, 62, said: "They are marauding daily through our tidy gardens, trampling on our bedding plants and pooing on the lawns."
Despite the complaints, some residents have welcomed the birds and have even been spotted feeding them.
There are various theories about their origin with some claiming they have come from a nearby farm, which was also blamed for the feral chicken plague.
Another explanation is that they are the descendants of a pair believed to have been kept in the grounds of a nearby mock-Tudor manor house, demolished in 2009.

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