Falcons go on patrol in Seaton

Falcons Pearl (left) and Morgan have gone on seagull patrol in Seaton. They are pictured with their handler  Jonathan Marshall and town councillors Peter Burrows and Mayor Gaynor Sedgwick at the launch of the new initiative.  Photo by Chris Carson Falcons Pearl (left) and Morgan have gone on seagull patrol in Seaton. They are pictured with their handler Jonathan Marshall and town councillors Peter Burrows and Mayor Gaynor Sedgwick at the launch of the new initiative. Photo by Chris Carson

Friday, March 7, 2014
4:13 PM

Bird of prey ‘bouncers’ Pearl and Morgan will help to scare away nuisance seagulls

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Seaton  town councillors Tony Woodman, Peter Burrows, Gaynor Sedgwick, Ken Beer with handler Jonathan Marshall and falcons Pearl and Morgan. Photo by Chris CarsonSeaton town councillors Tony Woodman, Peter Burrows, Gaynor Sedgwick, Ken Beer with handler Jonathan Marshall and falcons Pearl and Morgan. Photo by Chris Carson

Two specially trained birds of prey have gone on patrol in Seaton – their airborne mission to scare away scavenging seagulls.

Mayor Gaynor Sedgwick and fellow town councillors went along to the seafront today (Friday) to greet falcons Pearl and Morgan as they got to know their new beat.

Handler Jonathan Marshall, from Southleigh-based Raptorforce, will be bringing the high flying ‘bouncers’ to the resort three days a week to deter nuisance gulls and entertain the visitors.

The move will coincide with a bid to urge residents and visitors to think about how they dispose of food waste which attracts gulls.

The £15,000 initiative – a joint project with Sidmouth and Exmouth - will be financed through the Parishes Together Fund.

Cllr Sedgwick has stressed that the gulls will not be harmed, the aim is to regularly alarm the pest birds and cause them to feel unsettled enough not to breed or feed in the areas they are considered to be a nuisance.

Pearl is a tribred falcon, gyr and saker cross. Although much larger than her colleague Morgan, a peregrine falcon, she is just as fast and extremely intimidating, says Mr Marshall, who is considering trying to operate the birds from one of the high buildings on the seafront like Fosseway Court.

The falcons will be on duty on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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