Thursday, 11 March 2010

Worse than I feared

The whole of Alexandra Lake has been cordoned off. I had wondered if this was an over-reaction, but having just bumped into one of the Epping Forest Keepers, the news is dire. It is a deliberate case of bird-poisoning, and the eight Crows I found were just the start. They have been falling out of the trees almost constantly since Tuesday. I don't have the exact figures yet, but so far the deaths include over 100 Crows, many Canada Geese, Coots, and particularly Moorhens, 2 Greylags, and some Pigeons. In all hundreds of birds have died, and indeed when I looked at the area from the car today, it seemed very empty. The Keeper I spoke to has been picking up Crows and putting them together whilst they die, the whole thing sounds horrible. And it does not stop there - a lady has lost her Alsatian as well. Whilst dog-walkers and their dogs are the bane of my [birding] life, I would not wish any of them harm. I can't believe that this has happened on my patch - it's disgusting that there are people out there who would do this. The Police Wildlife Unit and the Environment Agency are both investigating, but how you find whoever has done this without actually catching them in the act I have no idea.

So there is now something newsworthy in Wanstead, though whether the general populace will find it more interesting than Susan Boyle's cat's residential status is unknown at this stage.

How dare somebody poison my birds! The more I sit here typing about it, the more angry I am becoming. On the plus side, no Gulls have been affected. Nor any Wildfowl, though many of the wintering birds have gone. There are a pair of Little Grebe on there, as well as several Mute Swan and a load of Mallard, but they seem to have escaped unharmed at present.

Sorry this post is unhumourous, and contains no Gull faux pas. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

"I might be dead now"


  1. All sounds a bit crap, keep us posted..

  2. That's awful! I wonder if the person really was going for rats, as you hypothesized the other day. I suppose I hope so--it seems a little more understandable, though still not very nice. That the person was just targeting wildlife for the heck of it is too sickening to give further thought...

    Unfortunately this sort of thing happens more often than people know. We have lots of access to some pretty nasty poisons and because they're commonly available people don't realize how toxic they can be.

    Hope they catch the culprit.

    Anyway. On a lighter note: I really like your new widget (you might also like) and on your poll I did not see my desired option, which was Gulls in Moderation, but Not 100% As Reading About Them Makes Me Feel Vaguely Guilty.

  3. Sounds a bit rough! Sod the gulls for a couple of days - this is very interesting indeed.

  4. Hi Jonathan, please call me asap re: your bird blogs pictures. Thanks, Mark - ITV London Tonight: 020 7430 4528

  5. Beyond the realms of my comprehension - have noticed
    some comparatively low-level tipping on the edges of the flats before, such as drums of dirty cooking oil etc, but this ... < deep and disconsolate intake of breath >

  6. Hmm, have heard reports of bird poisoning elsewhere recently. Have seen a few dead birds in woodford too

  7. My reaction on Friday, when I spoke to one of the rangers, was much the same as yours: "How dare somebody poison my birds!" Now it mostly just makes me want to cry. The greylags were doing so well, and now, sigh. The person I spoke to was very upset too, what a job for a bird lover!
    Stupidity or malice the result is the same.