Police appeal after Kestrel eggs are stolen in Sculthorpe

MLNF Camera Club kestrel hunting in strong wind Stephen Nobbs ANL-150422-112621001
MLNF Camera Club kestrel hunting in strong wind Stephen Nobbs ANL-150422-112621001
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Kestrel and Grey Wagtail nests have been raided by egg thieves in Sculthorpe.

Police are appealing for more information after the eggs were stolen two nests in Sculthorpe Meadow between May 4 and Thursday, June 4.

Officers believe this incident is linked with the theft of Marsh Harrier eggs last month in Guist.

Kestrels and Grey Wagtails are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and officers would like to hear from anyone who believes they may have seen any suspicious behaviour in the area.

Officers are urging people to report any unusual activity around the theft of wild bird eggs in the county during Summer and nesting season.

The force continues to support Operation Compass, a highly-successful initiative to provide a prompt and effective response and subsequent prosecution of anyone engaged in egg thefts or disturbing nesting birds.

Egg collecting is a big problem in the UK where there are approximately 300 individuals actively engaged in the unlawful taking of wild birds’ eggs. Once taken, the eggs are blown using small drills, syringes or similar implements in order to empty their contents and then to display them in cabinets. Rare breeding birds are particularly sought after.

Egg collectors are invariably male and will go to great lengths both to take eggs, often driving all around the county, and to avoid getting caught in the process. The activities of such criminals can have serious consequences for the survival of some of our rarest bird species.

When targeting species, thieves will often park away from a site and approach on foot or pedal cycle usually in the late evening or early morning. They may have been around all day locating a nest site so they can quickly approach and take the eggs. They are creatures of habit and will favour certain dates for particular species and locations where they have been successful in the past.

Nature reserves are a prime target for egg thieves across the Eastern region and their wardens work closely with officers and the RSPB Investigations Section to report suspicious activity.

Notices are displayed in some of the nature reserves alerting the public to the possibility that egg thieves may be operating in the area. Anyone with information about egg thefts should contact Norfolk Constabulary quoting ‘Operation Compass’ on 101.

Anyone with information relating to the recent theft should contact PC Jason Pegden at Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.