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Police called as Bury St bird watchers are ‘egged’

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A bird-watcher in Bury St Edmunds has spoken of his ‘shock’ after groups of twitchers were pelted with eggs in two incidents last week.

The groups were watching waxwings that had been sighted in some trees near to the town’s bus station on Wednesday and Thursday when it happened.

One of the bird-watchers, who did not wish to be named, said: “Lots of people were going to see them and I was there on Thursday.

“This man said he had a problem with people being there in general. The next thing I knew eggs came flying towards me and that was that.”

Police said they were called out to an anti-social behaviour incident at around 11.30am on Wednesday in the area, following reports of a man allegedly throwing eggs at people.

Waxwings are slightly smaller than a starling and have a prominent reddish-brown crest with a black throat.
Waxwings are slightly smaller than a starling and have a prominent reddish-brown crest with a black throat.

After making inquiries, they found that no one had been hit and that no equipment had been damaged so took no further action.

The police also told the watchers they were happy with them being there as they were not breaking any laws.

Other nearby residents were reportedly happy with the bird watchers, with some even bringing cups of tea out to them.

The bird watcher continued: “It’s a public area. I could understand in residential areas or if birds were standing on people’s houses but we weren’t near his house.”

Waxwings are not classed as rare but numbers that come to Britain have dropped over recent years, which makes them attractive to enthusiasts.

He said: “I was shocked. We have every right to be there and I did not know what to think. It wasn’t very nice at all. this sort of thing has never happened to me before. We’re keeping records of how many birds there are there and it’s not going to stop me going out.”

St Edmundsbury councillor, Julia Wakelam, said she was shocked to hear about the incident and has had residents complain before about anti-social behaviour there.

She said: “It is just absurd, everyone has a right to look at birds. I like to, too – it is an utterly harmless activity and bird watchers by their nature have to be quiet, so I am sure they were not making any noise or disturbance.

“Whoever did this must be a very sad person indeed.”