Monday, April 28, 2008

Languishing in captivity

Sorry, I've been reading Cage and Aviary Birds again. For Sale this week, actually very little of real interest, and frankly I'm just living for the day when I see 'Black Lark - cock - £170'. Mind it would probably be spelt wrongly... i.e. Essex Birds (01992 525525 if you're interested) are selling
Yellow Hammers, £70 pr; Linnetts £60 pr; Bramble Finches, £60 pr.
and also
Bullfinch - English £150 pr; and Goldfinches - English, £125 pr.
I assume they eat pork pies and sing 'God Save the Queen' while throwing flowers at Princess Diana's coffin.

Some stuff being exhibited in British Softbill sections includes Common Redstarts, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds,'warblers' Whinchat, Wheatear (three cheers for Chris Atkinson's promising wheatear hen - a full-bodied bird), Pied Wagtail, Rock Pipit, Blackcap, a pair of wrens, Bearded Reedlings. To my mind the Rock Pipit (Rock Pipit - wtf?) just proves that people will keep anything.

I do quite like the bird-warders though, not least because they are a welcome antidote to the pigeon brigade. They do some nice snippets on wild birds and on page 17 Andrew Ross writes: Guess who's back? It is time we all celebrated the revival of Britain's sparrowhawks.

Cage and Aviary Birds
is available weekly, priced £1.45 from all good newsagents and some fairly shit ones too.


Bill Pulliam said...

What??? Are you telling me that there is still a thriving, widespread, and LEGAL trade in captive native birds in the UK???

Next you'll be telling me that market hunting is still legal, and you still shoot egrets off the nest so ladies can decorate their hats with the plumes!

Just utterly astounded. Here in the U.S. the restrictions on keeping native birds are so tight that they have to use Rooks and Carrion Crows instead of American Crows even when making movies filmed and set in the U.S. (especially amusing when they use Hooded Crows).

Martin said...

Oh yes, believe it. You're only allowed to keep close-ringed captive bred birds, but the legal trade masks an underground and surprisingly thriving trade in illegally wild-caught birds. Prosecutions crop up from time to time.

We have to keep our hands off the egrets, but we are required to shoot moles to make nice soft trousers.

In contrast, all Britons are required by law to practice archery for 2 hours on a Sunday, and to keep a tank of fresh water in their roofspace. In both cases this is in case the French invade. And that, amazingly, is true. Even though there's about as much chance of France invading us as their is the King of England and his band of merry redcoats deciding to have a go at retaking the colonies. :-$

Bill Pulliam said...

Well when William the whatevereth-number-he'll-be decides to reclaim the colonies, he'll have to send his forces to Beijing I suspect.

Man, we find our archaic laws entertaining, but I guess you've had about 1000 years longer to accumulate them than we have.

Martin said...

Well when William the whatevereth-number-he'll-be decides to reclaim the colonies, he'll have to send his forces to Beijing I suspect.

Or, ironically, Tibet