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.

Sunday 10 September 2017


Little girl, five, writes to the Queen asking permission for a pet swan – and gets an unexpected reply

The Queen has taken 'careful note' of Lyndsay's request, according to the palace

By John Shammas
2nd September 2017, 10:16 pm

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD girl wrote a letter to the Queen asking if she could keep a pet swan for the weekend - and even got a response from the Palace.

Lyndsay Simpson wrote an adorable letter to Her Majesty promising to look after the bird at home

The animal-loving youngster wrote to the Queen after her mother Jennifer Bax, 35, told her she owned all the swans in the UK.

And in a heartfelt reply, Jennie Vine, a deputy correspondence co-ordinator at the palace on behalf of Her Majesty, thanked her for the request.

She also said the Queen had taken a "careful note" of her comments - but explained the belief she owned all the swans was a common misconception dating back centuries.

The letter explained: "Her Majesty owns mute swans and only exercises her right of ownership over swans on certain parts of the River Thames."

They also said the Queen was encouraged to hear of Lyndsay's love of swans, and sent her a booklet on royal swan upping - an annual ceremony where the birds are caught, ringed and released - to help her learn more.

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