Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Woman finds mutilated birds in woods

A WOMAN discovered mutilated pheasants while walking her dog in Lambridge Woods near Henley.

A WOMAN discovered mutilated pheasants while walking her dog in Lambridge Woods near Henley.

Judy Dinsdale, of Northfield End, was walking her six-year-old cocker spaniel Maddy when they made the gruesome find.

The dog barked at the pile of six or eight mangled birds and the untouched body of another bird which Mrs Dinsdale could not identify.

She believes the birds were killed by poachers who had been disturbed.

She saw twine around the necks of some of the pheasants tied with what she said was a “professional” knot.

Mrs Dinsdale, who is retired, made the discovery on Wednesday last week.

She had parked her car on a single track road off the main road and was walking along a footpath to Assendon when she heard Maddy barking ahead of her out of sight.

Mrs Dinsdale said: “She didn’t come back when called and thus I thought I had better see if she was in trouble.

“It was a very loud, almost panicking bark. I walked towards her bark until I could see her. She was frantically running around a group of bushes and trees. I went up to her and put her lead on.

“I could then see that she was eating a chunk of something which was hanging out of her mouth.

“At first I thought it was just one dead pheasant but as I looked I could see several pheasant heads and then bits of bodies.

“It was an awful sight. Quite clearly what I saw was not meant to be seen by the public. I only saw it because of my dog’s actions.

“I could also see something which looked like a large bird. I don’t think it was a red kite because its plumage seemed too dark, perhaps a sparrowhawk. It was certainly not a pheasant.

“On a tree stump I could see a scattering of corn seed. A friend and I speculated that someone was trying to entice the pheasants. Someone was doing something they shouldn’t have been.”Mrs Dinsdale returned to the scene on Tuesday this week and found that all the body parts had been removed but feathers and twine remained.

She said: “Maybe someone was watching after my dog disturbed them and has come back, collected the evidence and taken it away.

“I don’t suppose there is much that can be done.”

Mrs Dinsdale has reported the incident to the police and said the experience would not put her off walking in the woods again.

“I’m quite robust and people doing that won’t stop me walking my dog there,” she said.

“Now it’s over to the police and others who may be able to do something.”

A series of attacks on pheasants across Berkshire has been reported to the police over the last three months.

• What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley, RG9 1AD or email letters@henleystandard.co.uk

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