VICTORIA – A flock of wild turkeys recently invaded a quiet Mill Bay neighbourhood, sending the community into an amused buzz.

Mill Bay residents Roger and Gail Andersen say that the rafter of approximately nine wild turkeys first appeared in the neighbourhood roughly two weeks ago. Roger says that one mid-November day, he went to check his mailbox and when he turned around, the birds had appeared. That's when he headed back inside his home to tell his wife about the strange animal visit.

"So he came back and said, 'Oh my god, there's wild turkeys,'" said Gail.

"There's a bunch of turkeys in the middle of the road," added Gail. "They were following me back home so I come out onto the veranda and sure enough, I could hear them first. I could hear the 'gobble, gobble, gobble.'"

Another neighbourhood resident, Carol Grant, said the touring turkeys visited her garden as well.

"They're eating out of my flower pots, they're up the sidewalk, they're everywhere," said Grant.

While the birds were in the neighbourhood, some residents say the animals gorged themselves on the local plant life. 

"I'm glad they're gone," says Gail. "We're all glad they're gone. I'm a huge gardener and I was just concerned about the pecking and digging." 

Residents say that the turkeys stayed in the area for about a week before mysteriously disappearing, just as they had arrived. 

The Andersens say that the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) told the neighbourhood that two groups of wild turkeys live in the Shawnigan Lake area, and that the rafter that appeared in Mill Bay was likely one of those groups. 

The CVRD believes that the turkeys have now likely returned to Shawnigan Lake.

While some residents feared for their gardens, most of the neighbourhood seems to have enjoyed the turkeys' unexpected visit.

"It was neat," said one Mill Bay resident. "It was a lot of fun."