I was given a dead heron by a friend at work. It was found dead in a drainage ditch underneath a footbridge. Having clarified the exact location and time, date of find etc I phoned up the RSPB to ask how I should declare such finds. This is also in relation to finding road-kill owls or buzzards because as a natural historian and artist, keen to re-assemble skeletons or to study and draw specimens, I want to clarify how to operate properly within the law. I certainly wouldn't want to fall fowl, no pun intended, of laws designed to quite properly protect certain species from persecution. Having spoke at length to the RSPB, and then Natural England, a clear answer still seems elusive and so they are going to email me information. Cleaned the mud off the dead heron and took photographs with the children who were fascinated by the heron's large scaly feet.
Also filmed the starlings flying over the house this evening, coming in with the sunset from the west and heading down to roost at Ham Wall and perhaps TV stardom ? They came over in consistent waves from 4.10 to 4.30, about 20 or so distinct flocks heading in from feeding on farms on the levels somewhere. Many of the squadrons flying high in the sky and hard to see approaching while other large groups strung out in lines and coming in low over the surrounding trees and houses, their wings making a swooshing sound which alerts you to their passing as you work in the garden.