Looking good . . . Shane Reynolds of project groundworks contractor, Fulton Hogan checking over the plans for the new church. PHOTO: COURIER STAFF

by Shelley Inon

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, leaving large piles of poo on the well-loved train platform and station walls and requiring considerable clean-up efforts by railway volunteers.

Bill Noble re-enacts for the Courier how he chases the pigeons away each day. PHOTO: SHELLEY INON

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 they had been called by an Otago Daily Times reader who had read about the railway 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.

But 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.

Workers at the site of the half-constructed church have 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 they had pigeon poo all over the floors of the new church and that he “couldn’t wait for the roof to get on”.

The build will be finished some time this year, but many building projects has been held up due to shortages of different materials.

Up she goes . . . A street view of the church. PHOTO: COURIER STAFF

It seems that the church not only attracted pigeons, but 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 are lying out in front of the church and passing children have been making the most of the free supply.