As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... about out-of-place birds, rare vagrants, and basically all things feathery and Fortean.
Because we live in strange times, there are more and more bird stories that come her way, so she has now moved onto the main CFZ bloggo with a new column with the same name as her aforementioned ones...
Goshawks targeted again
The Derwent Valley previously had held six pairs of breeding goshawks, but after yet another in a long-running series of attacks on birds of prey in the Peak District, there is now only one active goshawk nest in the entire valley.
The Severn Trent water company and the RSPB have spoken of their outrage at the latest act of ‘wanton destruction’. The goshawk is one of Britain’s most persecuted as well as rare birds of prey and the RSPB is offering a reward of £1000 for information leading to a conviction.
Mark Thomas, investigations officer with the RSPB, said: "Once again we're faced with the destruction of birds of prey in Britain's most visited national park.
"The sight of goshawk eggs smashed, only days from hatching, lying on the forest floor is a heart-breaking sight and proves that this bird is being systematically wiped out in the north of the Peak District."
The Derwent Valley has been subject to a catalogue of bird of prey persecution incidents, with the most recent confirmed case being Glen Brown, a gamekeeper convicted of using a caged pigeon to lure birds of prey to a trap.
Hazel Earnshaw, of Severn Trent Water, said: "We are sickened that this protected species has once again been subject to persecution, despite extensive efforts to protect it. The Goshawk should form a natural part of the ecosystem here in the Upper Derwent Valley. We are working closely with the RSPB to protect these birds and to identify the guilty parties."
Darren Belfield, a sergeant with the Derbyshire Constabulary, said: "This is a further instance of senseless destruction and persecution of a protected species. The individuals responsible show no regard for the law or for the conservation of bird of prey species within the Peak District National Park."
Nature reserve becomes target for poachers
Illegal poachers have been using dogs and guns on the 117 acre Portbury Nature Reserve to kill animals, including deer and water and wildfowl. Local residents are being urged to keep a watchful eye open for any suspicious goings-on in the area.
Nature reserve community officer Neil Hutton said: "Poaching has become an issue at the reserve over the past couple of months.
"We have found the carcass of a deer and there have been reports of men and dogs arriving in vans and acting suspiciously.
"The dogs have been seen being let off into the rhynes and we believe they were looking for waterfowl and ducks and geese.
"We are asking people who live nearby and use the reserve to be our eyes and ears and report anything which they think is suspicious to police immediately.
"We will not let a few individuals spoil it for everyone but need people who are using the reserve to keep their eyes open for unusual behaviour."
Anyone with information about suspicious activity at the reserve should call police on 101.
Sunderland theft of specialist birds
Derek Johnson, 55, is heartbroken after thieves stole birds worth more than £4,500 from his aviary including silver goldfinch mules, hybrid finches and brown linnet birds and eggs that were due to hatch at the weekend.
Officers are appealing for anyone who saw anyone suspicious or vehicles in Ruswarp Drive or Pembroke Avenue on Thursday night or Friday morning, or anyone with any information as to the whereabouts of the birds, to contact them on 101 ext 69191.
Don't steal birds' eggs (left in its entirety)
“PERHAPS some of your readers know the people who camped by the river in Troserch Wood a couple of weekends ago. If so they should also know that the young campers tipped a picnic table into the river, left their rubbish in a heap under a bridge and took the eggs from a dipper's nest. Dippers are rare and both littering and robbing birds' nests may be crimes, but public interest and involvement is as important as force of law in ending this sort of stupidity. If you know any of the campers, you may want to tell them how you feel. If you were one, how do you feel?
Troserch Wood is also something rare: a commonwood in a beautiful river valley, dedicated to free access, wildlife and restoring ancient woodland.
The wood is managed by volunteers in the Troserch Woodlands Society. The TWS was formed a few years ago to secure the wood for the community when it came up for sale. Membership is open to all, at £5 per year. We welcome new members and helpers as we welcome more people to visit and enjoy the woods and river banks.
TWS meetings are open to all members and would-be members who share our aims: 7pm first Wednesday every month at the Llangennech Community Centre. We also have occasional working parties to maintain the woods, make good storm and other damage.
Replacing dippers' eggs is less easily done. If visitors witness littering or damage being done, the police may be interested and the wildlife officer is PC Adrian Ward.
David Edwards, Colin Jones, Gwyn Hopkins, Greg Wilkinson
Troserch Woodland Society