Seaside chippy worker scares off seagulls in an eagle outfit - so customers can eat their food in peace

1 年前
A seaside chippy worker scares off seagulls in an eagle outfit - so customers can eat their food in peace. Plucky Corey Grieveson, 18, can pocket £200 a day prowling Whitby harbour - known for gulls nicking chips from people's trays. And although he can earn a pretty penny from tips, he said the crafty gulls have taken “revenge” on him by pooing on his spotlessly clean car each day. The teen started work in the beautiful North Yorkshire town last summer when chip shop owner Alex Boyd, 31, decided he needed to employ a “live seagull deterrent”. Corey, who likes to joke he only speaks “eagle-ish”, says tourists are delighted with the job he does and often ask to take pictures with him in his colourful outfit. He said: “People absolutely love it. They approach me asking for pictures and whatnot. I feel like a bit of a celebrity. “I just charge at the seagulls when I see them. I also have to look out for them going near people, and when they do, I run at them and get them away. “I’ve had gulls hit me on the side of the face with their wing before, then they’ll get down, take your food. They’ll do it so quickly that you just don’t expect it at all. “It’s quite frightening, especially for the older generation, if they’re walking along having some chips. “And at the moment, they won’t leave my car alone. I clean it every day, and when I come back, it’s covered in seagull poop. I think they are trying to get their revenge.” Corey, who grew up in Whitby, said he starts work 6am on his patrols along the famous holiday destination’s harbourfront during the summer months. He was attracted to the job, where he earns a standard rate of £15 an hour, after developing a fascination with birdwatching with his grandfather. But he said grateful holidaymakers who he's saved from seagull attacks in the past have been more than happy to reward him for his unique service. He said: “I once made £72 in tips in one day. It was a wedding party, and there were seagulls all over trying to get to them. It was a couple of months ago. “And I went over, did my job, and they said: ‘This is for doing that and looking after us!’ There were maybe about 50 people. “I’ve always liked birds – big birds in particular. I just wanted to do something that was going to stand out and make me known.” Alex Boyd, co-owner of Mister Chips, whose fans include The Grand Tour’s James May, said he employed Corey near his takeaway shop by Whitby’s West Pier. And he said since the teen has come on board, punters have been overjoyed with his valiant work. He said: “We’ve been down on the pier for a number of years, and there has been a massive problem with seagulls. “It’s just got worse and worse and worse. I tried putting out big fake eagles on sticks, but they just get wise to it. They knew it wasn’t a real bird. They’re really clever. “So I spoke to Corey, and I said 'Would you fancy working in the shop through the winter, and in the summer, being a full-time seagull scarer?' “Corey has quite a bit of banter with customers. When they come and speak to him, he will make bird noises back. He says: ‘I don’t speak english, I speak eagle-ish’. He added: “It’s taken me so long to realise what we needed - a live deterrent. "If you spend £15 per hour to keep the customers safe and the seagulls away, then it’s good for the shop.” Corey said those thinking about a career as a professional bird scaring had to fully commit to the role. He said: “You’ve got to be enthusiastic about it. “But it keeps you fit, it’s a lovely job to have, really. You’re outside all the time in the good weather. And when the weather is bad, the seagulls aren’t there.”