Pigeons share many of the characteristics of grey squirrels, being almost as greedy, stupid and annoying.

On average, they will eat their own weight in food every six hours, and if left unattended by an open conservatory door, will devour your sofa while you’re out of the room making a cup of tea.

Country pigeons are relatively easy to scare away, whether by waving your arms, clapping your hands or dressing up as a buzzard, but their urban cousins have grown used to man and will require more concerted efforts to make them leave. You can spread superglue on the top of your bird table, and as they become adhered to the surface, a smooth swing with a six iron will launch them into next door’s garden. If you don’t own a set of golf clubs, making a decoy out of plastic explosive is a good alternative, though the ensuing shower of pigeon pieces may disfigure your shed and any washing you have out at the time.

The stool pigeon, which eats small wooden furniture, is the most difficult to deal with and can only be evicted from your garden with the assistance of armed police officers.