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Egg Thief in Court

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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 11:43   #1
Kits
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Egg Thief in Court

A man who illegally collected more than 5,000 rare bird eggs has been warned he faces jail.

Daniel Lingham, 65, was spotted "head-to-toe in camouflage gear" picking eggs up off the ground at Cawston Heath in Norfolk in May.

Norwich Magistrates' Court heard that he was searched by police and said: "I've been a silly man, haven't I?"

Lingham, of Newton St Faith, Norfolk, admitted five offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Officers found a total of 5,266 eggs of species including nightingales, nightjars, turtle doves, chiffchaffs, little-ringed plovers, woodlarks and kingfishers at his home.



Full article here.
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 12:19   #2
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Let's hope this repeat offender receives a lengthy custodial sentence. He obviously hasn't learnt a thing from his previous experience, and with the right amount of social media coverage should send out a clear message to any remaining egg collectors out there.
Also a reminder that news of nesting rare birds should not be shared, under any circumstances and all birders should be vigilant and report any unusual behaviour if they suspect or see anything unusual.
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 12:52   #3
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Yes sometimes info is all to easily shared!

I have twice reported people, the first were climbers, not egg collectors, but they could have disturbed our Lammergeiers. The national parks warden was there pretty sharpish. The view here is that egg collecting is an 'English disease'...
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 14:19   #4
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I've always thought a great additional punishment, after they've spent a lengthy time in prison, would be to give them a toffee hammer and make them smash each individual egg in their collection.
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 14:54   #5
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I've always thought a great additional punishment, after they've spent a lengthy time in prison, would be to give them a toffee hammer and make them smash each individual egg in their collection.
I have a feeling the collections go to BTO, so that they at least contribute to science and, for instance, current BOP eggshell thicknesses can be checked without disturbing successful breeders. If they don't they should.

BTW - toffee hammer?

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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 15:41   #6
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Yes, those of a certain age would remember that a lightweight carpenter's hammer was also known as a toffee hammer* due to this type of implement being used many years ago for that exact purpose, also for breaking up a slab of homemade peanut brittle.
Pen pushers, non diy types, (basically with soft unmarked palms) or those under 65 would struggle with the term.

* A 4oz Cross Pein Pin Hammer.

Last edited by PYRTLE : Friday 12th October 2018 at 15:47.
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 17:00   #7
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Yes, those of a certain age would remember that a lightweight carpenter's hammer was also known as a toffee hammer* due to this type of implement being used many years ago for that exact purpose, also for breaking up a slab of homemade peanut brittle.
Pen pushers, non diy types, (basically with soft unmarked palms) or those under 65 would struggle with the term.

* A 4oz Cross Pein Pin Hammer.
Ah, now I remember a particularly knuckle-dragging set 7 reject fifth year who used to lope orc-like into our woodwork lesson and address the teacher thus:

"I wanna pin'ammer," and receive a lesson (never retained) on how to make requests so that they might actually succeed. Thanks for the explanation.

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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 18:20   #8
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I have a feeling the collections go to BTO, so that they at least contribute to science and, for instance, current BOP eggshell thicknesses can be checked without disturbing successful breeders. If they don't they should.

BTW - toffee hammer?

John
I have a mate who inherited an old collection which he verified and registered with the police. We were subsequently informed by the RSPB, that any collections found to be 'modern', would be destroyed?
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 19:37   #9
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I have a mate who inherited an old collection which he verified and registered with the police. We were subsequently informed by the RSPB, that any collections found to be 'modern', would be destroyed?
That's almost as stupid as the eggers.

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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 12:55   #10
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It seems that most 'modern' collections are destroyed when they're removed from the eggers, part of it is down to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the vagaries that surround ownership of egg collections. I was given a collection many years ago, all eggs were collected in Britain before 1981 (and from memory included a clutch of Cirl Bunting and one of Marsh Warbler), which theoretically made them 'legal', but because they had no accompanying data of dates collected etc. I could do nothing with them and local and county museums I contacted wouldn't touch them because of this. They still languish in a relatives loft and I've no idea what condition they're in, or what to do with them. Even if post 1981 collections have all the data etc. they are still theoretically illegal and that creates a grey area within the law, as I understand it.

On another note about the BTO having them, I recently heard that they are re-doing their guide to nests and eggs for the nest record scheme (because bird books no longer illustrate eggs and nests), but Paul Sterry who's doing the photos was not allowed to use the BTO collection at Tring and has had to use collections in other museums. The BTO didn't want their collection exposed to light/flashlight, fearing it might fade them, the was also, apparently, some conflict between the BTO (who I believe own the collection) and the Natural History Museum who curate them. Weird to say the least!

And finally for now, a big hand to Pyrtle for explaining to everyone what a toffee hammer is, and there was me thinking when I wrote it, that everyone would automatically know what one is!

Cheers, he of calloused hands!
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 18:23   #11
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The collection of eggs at my local, natural history museum, Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, was removed from public view years ago due to the sensitivity surrounding egg collecting and fears that it may kindle the desire in some to start their own collection.
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 09:20   #12
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That's interesting Andy. Oology remains a science, plus avian demography, both could always do with some new blood. Seems a shame for the egg collection to be out of public view and I believe this is the common strategy.
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 09:52   #13
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The collection of eggs at my local, natural history museum, Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, was removed from public view years ago due to the sensitivity surrounding egg collecting and fears that it may kindle the desire in some to start their own collection.
I think this is actually a good idea because it means that the collection still exists to be consulted but there is the potential to record any person asking to see it - name, address, given reason - which should make it just that bit more difficult for beginning eggers to identify their finds. Any hurdle that can be put in their way is good news.

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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 09:53   #14
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What sentence should this egg thief receive that reflects his henious crime. Regardless of where the eggs end up, how does the judge decide what is appropriate? He and his lawyer claim he suffers from OCD.
So does he receive counselling and therapy to support and prevent reoffending? Is a 6 month prison sentence enough of a deterrent?
I would suggest voluntary work at his local nature reserve during the coming winter months, then prison for several months during the main breeding season, March through to September.
Hopefully this will send out as strong a message as possible to other oologists that this " UK based compulsion" won't be tolerated.

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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 10:28   #15
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What sentence should this egg thief receive that reflects his henious crime. Regardless of where the eggs end up, how does the judge decide what is appropriate? He and his lawyer claim he suffers from OCD.
So does he receive counselling and therapy to support and prevent reoffending? Is a 6 month prison sentence enough of a deterrent?
I would suggest voluntary work at his local nature reserve during the coming winter months, then prison for several months during the main breeding season, March through to September.
Hopefully this will send out as strong a message as possible to other oologists that this " UK based compulsion" won't be tolerated.
OCD, huh? Does that qualify as mental illness? Any reoffending and section him - forever.....

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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 12:21   #16
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I would suggest voluntary work at his local nature reserve during the coming winter months, then prison for several months during the main breeding season, March through to September.
I think a lengthy/lifetime ban from all nature reserves would be more appropriate, at a minimum during the nesting season. This is the second time he's amassed a 4,000 egg collection, so it doesn't seem very likely that he's going to reform.
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 14:27   #17
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I think a lengthy/lifetime ban from all nature reserves would be more appropriate, at a minimum during the nesting season. This is the second time he's amassed a 4,000 egg collection, so it doesn't seem very likely that he's going to reform.
How would that help? His egging must mostly be off-reserves, surely?

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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 15:19   #18
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What sentence should this egg thief receive that reflects his henious crime. Regardless of where the eggs end up, how does the judge decide what is appropriate? He and his lawyer claim he suffers from OCD.
So does he receive counselling and therapy to support and prevent reoffending? Is a 6 month prison sentence enough of a deterrent?
I would suggest voluntary work at his local nature reserve during the coming winter months, then prison for several months during the main breeding season, March through to September.
Hopefully this will send out as strong a message as possible to other oologists that this " UK based compulsion" won't be tolerated.
I don't think there is another sensible explanation than mental illness. Apart from the appropriate punishment, the guy definitely needs therapy. Perhaps they can make him pick up another, less destructive, collecting hobby instead? Anything that isn't living beings or parts thereof.
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 15:50   #19
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How would that help? His egging must mostly be off-reserves, surely?

John
Maybe, although not necessarily if you include the less high profile ones where there may be very few visitors and no staff. But anyway the comment was in response to the suggestion that his punishment should involve work on reserves, which doesn't seem appropriate to me.
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 16:06   #20
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He was seen and arrested at Cawston Woods/ Heath, an area rich for many species, near the Brecks. Part of the sites here are managed by a combination of the N.W.T. / Natural England and are pretty remote.....no visitor centre or daily staff on site. I'm uncertain whether or not it's the same individual, but around 2004 or '5 a male was convicted after working as a "volunteer" for the county Wildlife Trust. His collection then was over 4,000 eggs and his actions alone were said to have made a huge impact on Nightingale breeding in the area.
Thirteen years later he's caught again.
The O.C.D. claim in my view, is just an excuse to gain the sympathetic vote or a lenient sentence. It would be nigh on impossible to enforce a satisfactory banning from nature reserves.
Revoking his driving licence would not be deemed fair.
Yes, send him back inside. Yes, ban him from all reserves for life. Just hope he and his cronies get a loud and clear message next month.

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