Don’t Scrimp on the Shrimps

The Prawnbroker

Autunm 2012. Kingfisher Paul Ralston......

Last Autumn Arthur Harrison was telling me a story about a birder (Paul Ralston) he met on the marsh who had photographed a Kingfisher in a drainage ditch and down to a few feet along Lordship Lane by the SE corner No.4 tank.

2012. Discarded Shrimps at Frodsham Marsh.

A stock of Prawns dumped into a water course on the marsh.

The bird was watched feeding on live Prawns! It was not until I got the photographs from Paul that I really believed Arthur’s story. Apparently the Prawns had been dumped (by  a fishmonger?) that day because most of the Prawns were still alive in the drainage ditch and provided the Kingfisher with a ready supply of fresh food.

Autunm 2012. Kingfisher, Paul RalstonAutunm 2012. Kingfisher. Paul Ralston

Autunm 2012. Kingfisher. Paul Ralston...The story would have ended there but tonight I received an email from Guido about a similar incident in approximately the same area as last year involving an outflow duct filled with.. Shrimps and again presumably the same thoughtless trader dumping his live stock into an alien environment?

“I got there at 7:00 am . 10 degrees and very wet! Nothing of note other than a Fox near Brook Furlong and lots of ‘live’ Shrimps, (yes Shrimps!) in one of the outflows from No 6 tank. A guy had told me last year that he had seen someone dump shrimps there and that subsequently he saw a Kingfisher in that spot . I thought that this fellow must have smoked too much of that Moroccan stuff . I guess I was wrong.”

Ciao from Guido D’Isidoro.

All images by Paul Ralston.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Scrimp on the Shrimps

    • Although this is quite funny it does show the importance of birders (and non birders ) being aware of our duty to report such matters to the police. Frodsham Marsh is an under watched special place that attracts illegal dumping and vandalism. As Frodsham birders we must report these sort of crimes ASAP. Any live alien species with the potential to establish itself in an environment can have a catastrophic effect in that environment. Below a copy of the Cheshire Wildlife Crime units main points with phone numbers and what to do if we see anything. The more reports we put in maybe they will take the issues of crime at Frodsham Marsh more seriously.

      In an emergency always dial 999
      Non emergencies – 0845 458 0000
      Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111
      The responsibility for the enforcement of the laws protecting our wildlife rests with the police service. Wildlife crime takes many forms, some of which involve extreme cruelty.
      The main wildlife issues we are actively involved in combating include:
      • Destruction of wildlife habitats (shrimps in outflows!!)
      • Illegal trapping, shooting, snaring or poisoning of birds or animals
      • Badger digging/baiting
      • Poaching of deer, game or fish
      • Collecting wild birds’ eggs
      • Theft of wild plants
      • Illegal international trade in wildlife
      Cheshire Police sends officers on Wildlife Foundation courses to train them to become Police Wildlife Crime Officers. The officers who complete the course continue to work as regular PCs, but are also specialists in their field who can advise colleagues on wildlife policing.
      As a matter of course, all calls received by Cheshire Police’s call handlers on rural issues are passed directly to the trained Police Wildlife Crime Officers.
      Cheshire’s specialist wildlife officers also work in conjunction with the National Wildlife Crime Unit to share intelligence with other police forces and agencies. The NWCU provides support for wildlife officers and investigations into wildlife crime around the country.
      If you suspect a crime has occurred:
      • Do not disturb the scene by moving items or by walking about unnecessarily.
      • Do not touch dead animals or birds if you suspect they may be poisoned baits or victims – most of the substances used are extremely dangerous and you may put yourself at risk.
      • If possible, video or photograph the scene, or make a rough sketch.
      • Write down any vehicle registration numbers – don’t trust them to memory.
      • Contact the police as soon as possible.
      • Remember that some animals and birds can be legally shot or controlled. Do not interfere with legally set traps or snares or damage hides, high seats or shooting butts.
      • Do not put yourself at risk: contact the police.

      This reply relates to ALL areas we bird, but more importantly no criticism is implied to anyone, only a reminder to everyone of what we should do. Keep this number in your mobile, Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111.
      John Gilbody
      PS Can anyone confirm if this has been reported to the police?


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