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“Cats and dogs run for cover; cars slow to a crawl. All across the well-to-do estate, residents are shutting doors, closing windows, securing their sheds and greenhouses.
The peacocks are coming to town. And for the next several hours, then overnight and into the early hours of the morning, the battle begins.
One resident finds a peacock asleep in her conservatory. Another awakes to see a curious pair of eyes peering in from the roof through a dormer window.
Elsewhere on the estate, peacocks are pecking at tasty fruit and vegetables, squashing treasured plants to oblivion or settling down on a chimney-pot.
Not to mention depositing the unmentionable on driveways, pavements, car bonnets and lawns.
They’re absolutely beautiful but they’re a damn nuisance,’ Mrs O’Hanlon told me. ‘They make the most horrendous noise, all through the night.
‘Sometimes I’m out chasing them all day with a feather duster or my husband’s walking stick, but they don’t seem frightened at all.
‘Two weeks ago the screeching was so bad that I got up at 3am, went downstairs and got a big jug of water and threw it over them. They just stood there and looked at me.’”