Raptor roosts in Welwyn Garden City tile shop

IF you visited a WGC tiling warehouse this week, you may have noticed a new member of staff.

She’s a beautiful young female, who has caused a bit of a flap with the other employees.

Unfortunately, though, as they’ve been clearing up her mess and due to her lack of customer service, a few feathers have already been ruffled with her new-found ‘colleagues’.

But this worker is no ordinary Topps Tiles wage-earner.

Oh no, she’s a bird-of-prey, who swooped in through the front door of the Broadwater Road shop on Tuesday and has not left since.

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Peter Lettis, store manager, has been trying to entice the sparrowhawk out of the store using a number of tricks, which include getting a specialist to send a bigger hawk to chase it out, turning off all the lights, leaving the door open and having a colourful feather duster by the door.

A call to the RSPCA also proved unsuccessful, as the raptor, nicknamed Polly, was perched too high. The closest the bird has come to leaving is simply flying near the door.

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Mr Lettis said he believed Polly was happy flying about inside, due to the size of the barn warehouse.

“We were told she should have died by now without food or water, but she seems fine,” he added, “We have been told not to feed it as it would encourage it to stay.

“I would love to keep her; it would be a talking point with customers, but I don’t think that can happen.

“We’ve had a pigeon fly in once, but nothing this exciting.”

Worker Peter McIntyre was “amazed” when the sparrowhawk, one of around 40,100 in the UK, flew in while he was serving a customer.

“It’s one of those things you would never expect, it’s not an every day occurrence,” he said.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said an animal collection officer was unable to bring the bird down and has given Topps Tiles a number of a specialist who has a mesh net, which could help.

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