Published: 06:00, 16 October 2020
| Updated: 15:31, 16 October 2020
A couple feel like they are living on the set of The Birds after dozens of pigeons and doves set up nests under their solar panels.
When husband and wife David and Leigh Stevenson moved into their home in Reculver Road, Herne Bay , five years ago, they found a small flock living on their roof.
But over the last 10 months, the numbers roosting under the panels of the Beltinge property has risen to more than 40.
This has meant that their gutters have been filled with birds’ mess and has left them fearing for their health.
While the feathery creatures have not been acting aggressively, the couple say the growing number of birds reminds them of scenes from Alfred Hitchcock’s horror-thriller.
Mrs Stevenson, 58, said: “It’s very strange. When you see them all perched there, it’s like The Birds.
"It’s not that they’re ferocious or anything, it’s the numbers that makes you think of the film.
“I don’t think we’ve seen anywhere near the numbers as we have this year.
“It’s difficult to live with. If the numbers grew even more, it really would go out of control.”
Birds are well-known for enjoying the shelter from the elements and predators provided by the area between the roof and the solar panels.
Should their droppings land on the instruments, it can prevent them from absorbing energy from the sun, while the acid from their mess can also damage the equipment.
“The whole side of the house and pathway were absolutely covered in mess,” Mrs Stevenson continued.
“Our window cleaner jet washed it last week and it’s already starting to accumulate again.
“Our dog has had an upset stomach, so we wonder if he picked something up from that. It’s also a concern for us because I brush away the loose mess most mornings.”
Mrs Stevenson says her daughter has also commented on how the noise from the birds, which includes scratching and pecking, disturbs her early each day.
She hopes to secure the services of a specialist pest controller to humanely move the animals and install mesh around the panels to prevent them from returning.
“It’s nice if they’re heard cooing to a degree, but not if they’re constantly keeping you awake,” she added.
“I know of other people who have had similar problems. If you’re thinking about getting panels, think ahead and be prepared because birds will take up residence.”