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.