Seaside posties are wearing hardhats and cowering under umbrellas to protect themselves against enraged gulls.
In scenes straight out of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller The Birds, the furious creatures are diving down to protect their young.
The attacks have gone on for weeks. One postwoman in Thorpe Bay, Essex, said: “It’s been terrible. The other postmen have been wearing hard helmets like builders.
“One came with an umbrella to keep them away. The gulls spot you, then start chirping and then they dive down and they make you duck.
“I’ve had to hide under a tree or go close to a wall. I’ve been scared.”
The situation has got so alarming Royal Mail has written to families warning mail could be delayed.
Resident Nicholas Skinner, 74, said: “It’s quite a sight to see your postie in a hardhat.”
But he added: “It seems to have got a bit better in recent days.
“It might be they’re beginning to relax a bit now their little ones are getting bigger.”
Another said: “We see the gulls up and down the roofs and they are so noisy.
“Luckily the post seems to be getting through thanks to our chap wearing his protective gear.
“It’s given us a chuckle but to be fair a peck to the head could definitely draw blood.”
Royal Mail’s letter to residents in three neighbouring streets said: “As you may be aware, we are experiencing some difficulties in delivering to you due to seagulls swooping at delivery staff to protect their young.”
A spokeswoman added: “We are monitoring the situation to ensure we can continue to deliver safely to customers.”