Troublesome pigeons return to church site

Shane Reynolds, of contractor Fulton Hogan, checks over the plans for the new church in Pleasant...
Shane Reynolds, of contractor Fulton Hogan, checks over the plans for the new church in Pleasant Point. PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS FILES
The Pleasant Point Museum and Railway has given its feathered freeloaders the push.

But now the unwanted pigeon pests appear to be planning a return to their previous abode.

Pigeons took up residence at the railway station when their home in the clocktower of St Mary’s Church was destroyed by diggers in July last year.

They left large piles of poo on the well-loved train station’s platform and walls, which required considerable clean-up efforts by railway volunteers.

The pigeons were encouraged to leave their new digs at the railway station thanks to a bottle of Wingo "pigeon poo preventer".

Railway president Bryan Blanchard said his team had been called by an Otago Daily Times reader who had read about the station’s plight.

Volunteers applied the products, and the birds no longer felt comfortable perching there, and Mr Blanchard said he now felt comfortable claiming victory.

However, he said he had seen a few pigeons circling speculatively around the St Mary’s Church construction site, making him wonder if the pesky perchers had already set up base there, or if they were scouting it out for future use.

The pigeon poo which spurred the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway team to move feathered...
The pigeon poo which spurred the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway team to move feathered visitors on. PHOTO: SHELLEY INON
Workers at the site of the half-constructed church confirmed that the pigeons were already getting acquainted with the new building.

Timaru Construction site manager Jason Archibald acknowledged the pooping pigeons were making themselves at home and had left "a heap" of faeces along the ridge line already.

He said there was pigeon poo all over the floors of the new church and that he "couldn’t wait for the roof to get on".

The build would be finished some time this year, but — like many building projects — it had been held up due to shortages of different materials.

It seemed the church not only attracted pigeons, but tennis balls as well.

When workers removed the old hedge between the tennis courts and Khyber St, they found many tennis balls in it.

Mr Archibald said the digger driver had taken 30 home for his dogs and grandchildren, and other workers had taken some. The rest were lying in front of the church and passing children had been making the most of the free supply.

shelly.inon@odt.co.nz

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