EAGLE-eyed pupils at Bishop Henderson Primary School, in Taunton, have spotted a new feathered friend in their playground this month...thanks to a creative approach to warding off seagulls.

Staff, pupils and parents have been admiring a giant mechanical eagle, boasting a wingspan of nearly 2.5 metres (eight feet), which is perched in the playground in a bid to keep pesky gulls away from the grounds.

The animatronic, nicknamed Sid the Sea Eagle, has gracefully flapping wings and authentic sound effects and is the work of talon-ted school site manager Andy Gibbs.

He said: “The gulls are noisy, make a mess and are generally a pest.

"I decided to take a creative approach to the problem and got to work making a model bird of prey to scare them off.”

And there was no winging it during the build process.

“I’m an engineer by background so I’ve enjoyed the challenge,” said Andy.

“I’ve got a 3D printer at home which I used to make the head, talons and some of the feathers.

"I’ve also been gathering up dropped pigeon feathers for the tail.

“It’s taken quite a while and I initially made a smaller one but I’ve found that when it comes to scaring seagulls, it’s a case of the bigger the better.

"Since Sid has been here, the gulls have taken flight.”

Sid the Sea Eagle has a wooden frame and its wings and sound effects are battery powered.

Sid is not the only popular creature at Bishop Henderson, where pupils enjoy the company of much-loved, real life school dog called Ned.

Pupils also regularly learn about bugs, animals and nature in their forest school, which takes place in a wooded area of the grounds.

Head teacher Rachel White said: “Mr Gibbs is one of our school community’s unsung heroes.

"He’s great at fixing problems and the children and parents have been fascinated by the sight of Sid.

“We always encourage the children to spread their wings so it’s inspiring for them to see a great example of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills in action.”