‘It’s like a scene from The Birds’: Postmen resort to wearing hardhats and carrying umbrellas to protect themselves from dive-bombing SEAGULLS
- Rogue feathered fliers have been attacking postal workers in Thorpe Bay, Essex
- Regular postie, who is now on leave, taken to wearing a hard hat to prevent injury
- His stand-in said she has been scared delivering post in the area in recent weeks
- Royal Mail bosses wrote to locals to apologise over delays and any missed post
Underfire posties have taken to wearing hardhats and carrying umbrellas after saying they’re coming under attack by dive-bombing seagulls.
The feathered fliers have been attacking workers in swanky coastal resort Thorpe Bay in Essex, causing delays and missed deliveries to confused residents.
The situation has escalated to the stage where the regular postman says he has resorted to wearing a hard hat in a bid to prevent serious injury from the rogue seagulls.
The birds are currently nesting on the rooftops of homes and have been swooping down as posties approach.
Their feisty flights are happening as they bid to protect their young, with little chicks spotted walking along the rooftops.
The regular postie is now off on leave but his brave stand-in described how she’d also be attacked in recent weeks.
Underfire posties have taken to wearing hardhats and carrying umbrellas after saying they’re coming under attack by dive-bombing seagulls in Thorpe Bay, Essex
She said: ‘It’s been terrible. The other postmen have been wearing hard helmets like the builders wear. One came with an umbrella to try to keep them away.
‘The gulls spot you, then start chirping and then they dive down. They swoop down and they make you duck. I’ve had to hide under a tree or go close to a wall.
‘I’ve been scared – it’s like that Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds.
‘We notified the neighbours that it’s affecting the post – the regular postman is on leave so I am doing every other day.’
The worker, who asked not to be named, said thankfully the worst offending seems to have finished.
Bosses at Royal Mail have written to locals to warn them of delays and apologise for the missed post.
Residents of Marcus Avenue, Marcus Gardens and Marcus Chase – all near the seafront – were told to expect disruption to their regular post.
The Royal Mail wrote: As you may be aware, we are currently experiencing some difficulties in delivering to you due to seagulls in the area swooping at delivery staff in order to protect their young.
‘This is on occasion affecting our ability to deliver to you and your neighbours safely.’
The letter went on to explain that whilst deliveries will be attempted every day, but if certain addresses become too much of a problem, post will instead be sent to a local sorting office.
The situation has escalated to the stage where the regular postman says he has resorted to wearing a hard hat in a bid to prevent serious injury from the rogue seagulls
Seagulls wait in eager anticipation as the cautious postie approaches a house to make her deliveries
Poppy Strike, supervisor at Billy Hundreds near Thorpe Bay Beach, said: It makes you feel sad for the posties, bless them, who are just out trying to do their job. I’d be running a mile.
‘We are right on the beach and so we do tend to get quite a lot of seagulls but thankfully they’re usually pretty good with our customers.
‘They usually wait about for them to finish and leave the table before they take their food, holding off so they can take a chip or two.’
Residents have thanked the posties for trying to continue their rounds.
Nicholas Skinner, 74, said: ‘It seems to have got a bit better in recent days. It might be that their beginning to relax a bit now that their little ones are getting bigger.
‘We got the note to say there might be delays.
‘I’ve seen them in hardhats. It’s quite a sight to see your postie in a hard hat. ‘
John Budge, of Thorpe Bay Residents’ Association, said: ‘These seagulls are a very mischievous lot. If it is to do with their young then that will hopefully solve itself in a few weeks when the young will have flown away.
‘I also feel sorry for the poor posties who could have had a pecking at. I’d hate to have birds flying around my face or getting too close, especially when you’re trying to work.’
A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: ‘The safety of our people is paramount to Royal Mail.
‘Our postmen and women can experience difficulties out on delivery in some areas due to swooping attacks by seagulls.
‘We are monitoring the situation to ensure we can continue to deliver safely to customers.’