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.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Rogue rat which threatened rare bird colony flushed out after snubbing pork pies and chocolate

The RSPB was concerned it would cause devastation to roseate tern colony on Coquet Island
5th April 2017

By Mike Kelly

An elusive rat which stalked the North East island sanctuary of an endangered species of bird has been caught and killed just days before the breeding season begins there.

For three months staff from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds which manages Coquet Island have been searching with increasing anxiety for the rodent which despite their best efforts had evaded capture.

Sited half a mile off the Northumberland coast near Amble, it is the home of Britain’s last colony of roseate terns as well as being a nesting place for puffins.

If it hadn’t been caught it is feared the rat which feeds off eggs could have devastated the colony.

It is the first time a rodent had been reported to be seen on the island.

After being detected in January, the island’s RSPB warden there, Paul Morrison, installed traps with a number of different baits including pork pies, fish, pate and even Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate, but all to no avail.

Read on

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