As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 1 August 2016

Can the Queen stop world's worst swan? Angry bird sinks squadron of model boats

Eight hand-built boats, with a combined worth of £15,000, have been destroyed by the swan so far.

July 21, 2016 15:59 BST

A destructive swan's relentless targeting of model boats has prompted one enthusiast to beg the British Queen for help in dealing with the dangerous bird. The mute swan is known to patrol Needham Lake, Suffolk, attacking ducks and geese thought to be on its stretch and smashing up eight model boats so far – some of which are worth up to £15,000 ($20,000).

In a throwback to medieval times – technically, the British Crown owns all unmarked mute swans – one boat owner, who had had two of his models attacked, went so far as to write to Queen Elizabeth II urging her to take action.

He told the East Anglian Daily News "I wrote to the Queen telling her the swan is a menace and I would like him to be moved on if possible... I would like to be able to boat in peace."

Treasurer of the Gripping Valley Model Boat Club, Cliff Galsworthy told the paper that the swan is a "menace": "He attacked my boat nearly straight after I put it in. I have spent about 10 full days trying to repair it. It took about six months to build and he just smashed it to pieces."

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