In Beccles it's raining birds!

It is usually just a quiet street in a market town, but yesterday it looked more like a scene from a Hitchcock film. As charity-shop volunteers in The Walk, Beccles, went to get new stock from their storage shed, they became the victims of swooping attacks from a flock of angry seagulls.

It is usually just a quiet street in a market town, but yesterday it looked more like a scene from a Hitchcock film.

As charity-shop volunteers in The Walk, Beccles, went to get new stock from their storage shed, they became the victims of swooping attacks from a flock of angry seagulls.

The birds have been nesting on the roof of the Break charity shop for several days, but since one of their chicks fell into the staff car park, the volunteers have had to run the gauntlet of gulls just to get to their shop.

Manager Jan Jacob said: "It's terrifying, they're big birds and really vicious. Every time someone comes out to get something from the store, they swoop down at them. We're having to store bags of donations in the shop because we can't get out here safely."

Deputy manager Carol Avery said that the only safe way they can reach their cars after work is to go out in pairs so one person can fend off the birds with an umbrella.

She added: "We look pretty daft out here with brollies up but it's the only way to stop them pecking your head.

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"Our area manager came to visit yesterday and he was so frightened that he reversed his car right up to our back door and climbed out."

The tiny chick is still hiding in a bush in the car park and seems unhurt by its fall, but it is too big for the mother bird to carry back up to the nest.

David Whittle, who runs an accountancy firm next door, said that one of the gulls scratched his head as he rushed to his car after work.

"They seem to have taken a serious dislike to me and as soon as I come out of my back door, they're squawking and flying about," he said.

"They circle round and round like sharks before they swoop at you. I've started walking the long way round to avoid them. It's pretty silly I suppose, but they're big and they fly at you really fast. If it had hit me straight on it could have done serious damage."

Mrs Jacob said that the RSPCA cannot help because the birds are not in any danger. She was told that once the chicks are big enough to fly, the mothers will leave them alone, although that could take several weeks.

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