I activated Dundry Down - G/SC-010 last Saturday and, as I had time on my hands, I decided to go and find the trig point in the middle of what can only be described as a dump (NB the activation area is actually very pleasant).
Anyway, right by the trig point there were 2 caged wild birds and a couple of heaps of feathers close by from some of their previous companions.
Why would these birds have been caged up in this rather remote location?
Any ideas from those more savvy with countryside customs?
There were 2 eggs in the cage but they looked much to big to be those of the birds, more like normal hens eggs.
Strange stuff this SOTA activating…
In reply to G4ISJ:
They are humane bird traps for the catching of birds by using the trapped bird as a lure. http://www.rustlertraps.co.uk/humane-traps/magpie-traps shows some and explains a bit about them.
I have seen many around but most are away from public view - so as not to draw attention to them as some folk release the trap bird.
Larson traps as they are called, can be legally used to trap birds such as Crows and Magpies as these are considered vermin and can be legally destroyed. It appears the cage in your video film had a crow and a magpie in it. These would likely be dispatched when the landowner next visited the trap.
However, these traps are also used on occasion by landowners, gamekeepers and game bird rearers to catch and destroy protected wild bird species, such as Goshawks and Buzzards.
There have been successful prosecutions in courts for this offence in recent years. Live pigeons are used to entice protected wild birds into the cage and they are then persecuted.
If a Larson trap was found containing a live pigeon, or a dead or alive raptor the Police, RSPCA and Natural England would be very interested in bringing the person responsible to justice.
I wondered if the sheds in the background may have been used for rearing pheasants…
Dundry Down is a summit I hope to visit myself fairly soon, so l will be looking myself when I am there.
Thanks to Neil and Phil for the reply.
I’m now suitably educated after reading up on these controversial traps.
I understand now why there were feathers/carcasses nearby.
Personally, I think it’s inhumane and unnecessary and it appears I’m not alone after reading online resources.
In reply to G4ISJ:
If you’ve seen a cast ewe with her eyes pecked out by crows, you might think differently.
Richard mm3brr Isle of Barra
In reply to G4OIG:
Guys, there are other forums where the rights and wrongs of trapping “vermin” can be debated, this is a SOTA forum so I think this discussion has now gone far enough.
Brian G8ADD (wearing his moderator hat!)