Many of us are used to having problems with nuisance neighbours – from noisy children to parties keeping us awake until the early hours of the morning.
But what if your annoying neighbour is a swan?
For a number of years now residents who live near a lake in Northampton have been plagued by the mischievous behaviour of Cedric – who has been nicknamed the ‘ASBO swan’.
The bird regularly knocks on their front doors with his beak and rattles their letterboxes, sometimes for up to three hours.
And even after all this time, no one can get to the bottom of why he does it.
Stephen Legg, 70, said he has been trying to deter the swan from banging on people’s doors for many years.
‘At the side of our houses there’s a small lake which was dug out 20 years ago for drainage,’ the county councillor said.
‘The swan has been there for seven or eight years with its mate.
‘Around this time of year five years ago the male swan started messing around my front door.
‘It rattles the letterbox with its beak and stands in front of the glass.’
The grandad-of-four said he’s previously contacted the RSPCA, which suggested the swan is trying to scrape insects off the glass.
He doesn’t think it could be hungry as people feed the birds on the lake all the time.
Stephen, who lives on Selston Walk, added: ‘He does it every year until the summer then doesn’t bother for the rest of the year. It is a flipping nuisance.
‘He starts by rattling the letter box then bashes the metal with its beak quite loudly.
‘The racket reverberates through the whole house. It doesn’t do any damage, but it’s extremely irritating.’
He said sometimes the bird does it for up to three hours at a time. Over the years he’s tried various methods to stop Cedric – but to no avail.
‘I did have a device that makes a swan-repellent ultrasonic noise, but it actually seemed to quite like it,’ Stephen explained.
‘He just nestled up to it, so it did no good at all and even might’ve encouraged him. It cost me thirty quid so it was a complete waste of money.
‘I did try covering the whole door but I didn’t get any post for a whole month.
‘If it keeps on through the whole summer I will have to cover the door again and leave my conservatory window open for the postman. It is a bloody nuisance and very peculiar behaviour.’
The naughty swan’s behaviour came to light after retired nurse Wendy Howard recorded hilarious footage of Cedric’s antics.
The mum-of-two, who is 63, said: ‘The swan has been been doing it almost every day recently and I still think it is pretty funny to see when walking past.
‘But I’m glad it isn’t my house because it is very noisy, it would depend on how early it started.
‘It’s like a postman opening the letterbox to drop the post through. It puts its beak through their letter boxes, raps the metal and carries on and on.
‘The videos are only short but it keeps banging and banging on the door.
‘It happened about the same time last year and I think they could be hungry in nesting season.
‘At first I couldn’t believe what was happening, but I’ve got used to it now.’
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