Starlings 'pebble-dash' elderly residents on Hereford street

Hereford Times: The starlings in full flight, spotted near the Courtyard in Hereford. The starlings in full flight, spotted near the Courtyard in Hereford.

THE sight of 20,000 starlings flying in formation above the Hereford skyline is a pure and beautiful expression of nature’s majesty – unless they happen to live at the end of your garden.

Then, said Macmillan Close resident Keith Taylor, it is a cue to take cover.

“You can’t go outside when they are flying overhead,” said Mr Taylor.

“Everything gets covered, our houses, our cars – it looks like everything’s been pebble-dashed”

Mr Taylor says that the Moorfield residents have to wash their cars daily so the bird’s droppings don’t corrode the paintwork.

And to add insult to injury, the street has been become a regular spot for birdwatchers who come to snap the birds as they nest in a set of 25-foot leylandii trees each evening at around five o’clock.

He added: “People are coming to take photos – I told them it’s not a nice sight if you have to live here.

“It’s unhealthy but environmental health don’t want to know. They said they are just birds and there is nothing they can do.”

Starlings are protected wild birds – their number have fallen by two-thirds since the 1970s – and Herefordshire Council’s head of environmental health, Marc Willimont, said that the council will not take any action to harm or control them.

His suggestion is to use a tape recorded starling call to try and relocate the birds.

He added: “They perform amazing aerial acrobatics as they gather before roosting at night, although we appreciate that their sheer numbers can occasionally cause problems underneath their town roosts where their droppings can cause a nuisance and inconvenience."

Mr Taylor is now starting a campaign to get the trees where the birds currently live trimmed down to several metres in height in the hope the starlings will move on again.

He said that many Macmillan Close residents are either elderly or disabled and are becoming increasingly distressed with the situation.

Comments (5)

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1:39pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Whats-wrong-with-the-World? says...

**** happens
**** happens Whats-wrong-with-the-World?
  • Score: 2

1:55pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Herefordian says...

You wouldn't be happy if it happened on you!
You wouldn't be happy if it happened on you! Herefordian
  • Score: 0

6:41pm Wed 19 Feb 14

silentbull2 says...

It's only seasonal though isn't it??
one of the most amazing sights you'll see and people are moaning? ?
If it was all year round then i would understand but come on
FOR ONCE I'm backing the council
It's only seasonal though isn't it?? one of the most amazing sights you'll see and people are moaning? ? If it was all year round then i would understand but come on FOR ONCE I'm backing the council silentbull2
  • Score: 9

2:57pm Fri 21 Feb 14

jarvis 2 says...

fantastic sight to see these birds

but lets get real here
Marc Willimont, said that the council will not take any action to harm or control them
face fact if it was affecting him he would and not think twice about it and the trees and the birds would be moved on just as he did with the noise or so called noise from belmont golf club that he closed. this guy is one of the most self opinionated people i have ever come across.
Council missed a great chance in the cuts to get rid by hey they get nothing right.
there are reasons and ways that these birds can be moved humanly Willimot should of said this he should also be seen to do somthing about it not just sit in his ivory tower saying there nothing we can do the best thing he can do is resign and let some one who has some idea of corprate relations do the job
fantastic sight to see these birds but lets get real here Marc Willimont, said that the council will not take any action to harm or control them face fact if it was affecting him he would and not think twice about it and the trees and the birds would be moved on just as he did with the noise or so called noise from belmont golf club that he closed. this guy is one of the most self opinionated people i have ever come across. Council missed a great chance in the cuts to get rid by hey they get nothing right. there are reasons and ways that these birds can be moved humanly Willimot should of said this he should also be seen to do somthing about it not just sit in his ivory tower saying there nothing we can do the best thing he can do is resign and let some one who has some idea of corprate relations do the job jarvis 2
  • Score: 0

5:23pm Fri 28 Feb 14

DraigDun says...

After reading a BBC article on how the entire population of Hereford is supposedly up in arms against these birds, a bit of browsing tells me that the vast majority of residents appreciate the beautiful sight of these starlings.
Mr Taylor is overreacting ("You can’t go outside"?!!), probably harbours resentments to being shat on by a seagull as a child, and now wishes to vent his fury on birdwatchers (important to local tourism), starlings (a protected species, important to biodiversity), and trees (no less important).
He claims this infrequent natural event is "unhealthy"..?! But there's really no evidence to support the idea that chopping trees and displacing birds will bring about cleaner cars.
After reading a BBC article on how the entire population of Hereford is supposedly up in arms against these birds, a bit of browsing tells me that the vast majority of residents appreciate the beautiful sight of these starlings. Mr Taylor is overreacting ("You can’t go outside"?!!), probably harbours resentments to being shat on by a seagull as a child, and now wishes to vent his fury on birdwatchers (important to local tourism), starlings (a protected species, important to biodiversity), and trees (no less important). He claims this infrequent natural event is "unhealthy"..?! But there's really no evidence to support the idea that chopping trees and displacing birds will bring about cleaner cars. DraigDun
  • Score: 1

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