A FOWL-TEMPERED pheasant is making life difficult for a North Yorkshire postman by lying in wait and attacking him and his van.

Postmen and women often expect to encounter bad-tempered dogs or difficult customers, but Barry Hutchinson, 39, must instead face the wrath of an unpleasant pheasant every day he delivers to the village of Dunsley, near Whitby.

Once Mr Hutchinson has pulled up in the village, the angry bird chases him between post boxes and jumps up and attacks him. It even has a go at his van, chasing after it to peck at the tyres.

The weary postman said: “As soon as I arrive around this area it will follow me to the post box and I shall then move down to my next call and it will chase the van, pecking the tyres, then maybe it will wait for me and follow me to the letter box.”

Pheasants can be highly territorial birds and will get involved in ferocious battles with competitors.

But it is not known why this pheasant has decided to punch above his weight by taking on the postman. Nearby Dunsley Hall Country House Hotel, said it could well be one of their pheasants, which live in its grounds.

In an offer of help, a spokesman said: “I think what we might do is contact the post man and let him deliver to the village’s post to the hotel and the locals could pick up their post from there.

“Then at least it means he can drive up the hotel grounds and deliver to the front door and bypass the pheasant.”

In 2010, a phesant made headlines around the world after carrying out a month-long campaign of terror in the village of Newsham, which lies between Barnard Castle and Richmond - attacking adults, children dogs and vehicles.

He eventually curbed his aggressive behaviour after taking up with two female pheasants.