October 2 2014 Latest news:
Friday, March 14, 2014
‘Super falcons’ have gone on patrol in Sidmouth on an airborne mission to scare away scavenging seagulls.
The town council has joined its counterparts in Exmouth and Seaton to splash out £15,000 in an effort to stop gulls nesting.
Falconer Jonathan Marshall, who is bringing the high-flying ‘bouncers’ to the resort three days a week, said: “The birds are crossed between a peregrine, gyr and saker falcon.
“Peregrines are the fastest, gyr are the largest and saker are very aggressive and persistent, which make a manmade super falcon.”
Two of Johnathan’s four birds – named Pearl, Morgan, Crouch and Thorne – will be on duty at any one time.
They will be out on patrol on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the end of July.
“We may have to do more because the gulls are very persistent.”
Johnathan said of his falcons: “Seagulls are petrified of them, but the birds don’t kill the gulls, that isn’t the idea.
“Their very presence is enough to scare the seagulls and prevent them from nesting.”
The Herald reported last month how it is hoped the move will deter nuisance gulls which disturb people who are eating and foul on buildings. The £15,000 for the project was supplied by the Parishes Together Fund.