Caught by the River

The Bird Effect Diaries

Ceri Levy | 9th September 2009

The diary of the making of a film. and an on going fascination with birds and their accompanying cast of human characters. By Ceri Levy. Previous entries can be read by clicking here.

Saturday 1st August

New month and I have set myself the task of filming a minimum of one subject a week. Not sure how long that will last seeing as it’s August and everyone clears off. But I have to set myself goals or I’ll get the fear. Please God, don’t let this go on for more than a year. Unless it’s really necessary.

Thursday 6th August

Good day with Mark Thomas at the RSPB. Great interview and managed to avoid the rain, which descended just as we finished. Set everything up nicely for the strands of the film relating to birds of prey and egg collecting. Egg collectors seem to be known to police and the Investigations Unit at the RSPB and it sounds like they are deluded enough to think that they are in some sort of James Bond movie, sneaking around, avoiding detection through subterfuge. It is almost as if the eggs are akin to a trophy at the end of the chase for these people. They are cold, calculating, clinical criminals who invariably shoo the bird from the nest to take not just one egg but the whole clutch. They blow the eggs, put them in a container and bury them in the ground out of the way as there is a chance that they will be recognised, get stopped and searched. Then they come back out after the breeding season and collect their appalling triumph.

He also told me about a couple of gamekeepers that recently blew the whistle on the persecution of birds of prey on one particular estate and there was a successful prosecution… Now I would like to try and track these guys down… I think they have both left the business of gamekeeping so maybe I can get them to appear in the film… hmm… could be interesting. And a tangent I didn’t quite expect to go down. But I do know something. Birds affect people in many, many ways. Good and as I am discovering sometimes unfortunately bad. I want people to know what can go on out there.