According to the YorkshireLive website, a 63-year-old Huddersfield man has admitted stealing almost 200 wild bird eggs, including those belonging to endangered species (see here).
Terence Potter, from Huddersfield, appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on 17th February 2021 charged with two counts of possessing an article capable of being used to take birds eggs, three counts of possession of a wild bird’s eggs and three counts of taking wild bird eggs.
The charges brought against Mr Potter, of Cumberworth Lane, Upper Cumberworth, date back to April 2020 with allegations that he took 179 black headed gull eggs, four golden plover eggs and three curlew eggs.
In Holmfirth, in April 2020, Potter was found to be in possession of a number of items that helped in his removal of those eggs including syringes, binoculars, egg blowing equipment, thermal imaging binoculars and an incubator as well as handwritten data cards.
The curlew, the largest European wading bird, is listed as being under threat by the RSPB website stating its UK conservation status is red.
Potter will be sentenced at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on April 23.
Potter is not new to this area of criminality. Eight years ago he pleaded guilty to nine related offences including six charges of taking birds’ eggs, two charges of possession of 587 eggs (including a number of Schedule 1 raptor eggs), and possessing articles to commit offences. He also had his shotgun removed for insecure storage. He was given a two-year conditional discharge and had to pay £85 costs.
Clearly an insufficient deterrent. It’ll be interesting to see what his sentence is this time.
[Potter’s illegal egg collection in 2012, photograph by Bob Elliot, from RSPB’s Legal Eagle Newsletter #70]