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'They are aggressive' - city goers dive bombed by 'unpredictable' gull

PUBLISHED: 08:21 23 July 2019

Passers-by have been dive-bombed by an

Passers-by have been dive-bombed by an "unpredictable" seagull, nicknamed Cliff. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

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Visitors to Norfolk's beaches are used to dodging hungry seagulls trying to snatch their ice creams or portions of fish and chips.

But now residents in Norwich city centre have become accustomed to one of the sea birds a little closer to home, after a seagull nesting at St Andrew's Hall became notorious after beginning to dive-bomb unsuspecting passers-by.

The gull, nicknamed 'Cliff' by staff at St Andrew's Brewhouse, has been a regular sight in the courtyard in front of the hall, after its fledgling chick left the nest, and rested on the ground.

"Every time anyone went anywhere near him Cliff would come down and see anyone off," said Luke Statt, bartender at the Brewhouse.

Mr Statt, 29, added: "He flew down and was resting in the courtyard and for two days Cliff kept attacking people.

Passers-by have been dive-bombed by an Passers-by have been dive-bombed by an "unpredictable" seagull, nicknamed Cliff. Pictured, Luke Statt, from St Andrew's Brewhouse. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

"He had a thing for one man in particular.

"There was this chap from the Hall and he kept coming out.

"Every time he had to go to his car he would come down - he had tried to move the seagull chick."

Pub staff also dubbed the fledgling chick Gail, as they said the noise of its call sounded like someone shouting the name.

Passers-by have been dive-bombed by an Passers-by have been dive-bombed by an "unpredictable" seagull, nicknamed Cliff. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

But Mr Statt added that Cliff, who has stopped appearing in the courtyard since the fledgling moved on, was "unpredictable".

He added: "In situations where there are babies involved people should really call the RSPCA."

And RSPB recruitment officer Mark, who didn't want to give his last name, said: "Every bird - if it's got chicks - it will be really aggressive.

"Herring gulls are aggressive birds and they will be aggressive towards other birds.

"It also could be about food."

The wildlife enthusiast said the birds could have been affected by the proximity of the peregrine falcons nesting at Norwich Cathedral.

"The peregrines are predatory birds and they're in the spire of the cathedral nearby," he said.

"They are extremely predatory. at the moment. They will take other birds out of the sky."

But he added that gulls rely on humans for scraps of food.

"Their food source is us which is why you see so many of them in urban environments," he added.

"They're not friendly birds."

Did you see the dive-bombing seagull at St Andrew's Hall? Send your pictures to us on Facebook at EDP 24 or on Twitter @EDP24.

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