What’s in a single word? It can have very different meanings, and in the case of the 1940’s in Europe it had a very specific meaning that ended in the deaths of innocent beings.
Recently as last year a “relocation” appears to have taken place at Victoria Park Tipton, a green flag park in Sandwell. In summer months Canada geese moult and move to larger areas of water, then disperse out. They may be noticeable, so too are the discarded feathers and “mess” though in truth this mixes with the dung of other “native” birds making it fairly indistinguishable- but the blame always appears to be with the geese from a certain type of person- blue rinse, over 60 , with an overdeveloped OCD for rats and cleanliness- perhaps something happened to them as a wee kiddy? And white don’t forget that- always white.
Last year I took some footage of a rather peculiar “relocation” from this park involving a pest control company called “PESTEX”. Their website boasts of “controlling and managing” Canada geese- though these words are in themselves circumlocutions for culling. The first thing I noted was the vehicles parked outside and some of the information contained on the logos.
Then on the park near the lake I saw a group of individuals with a harris fence set up cordoned off with tape- I certainly started to smell a rat. It was at this point that I started to wonder what the hell was going on and if Sandwell council has crossed a line in terms of culling healthy birds in this park. Then one of them, the obvious CEO of operations made the mistake of asking me to encourage the geese over with bread toward the enclosure. He had no idea who I was, and I asked him what they were doing and for what purpose.
LIE NO 1
“We’re, er putting some special powder on their feet to stop them having pests.”
LIE NO 2
“Er we’re putting rings on their feet mate.”
LIE NO 3
“We don’t kill birds mate. We’re relocating them to the Sandwell Valley.”
TRUTH NO 1
“I’m just doing my job mate”, before pointing me in the direction of the parks manager’s house who lives in the park- whom it appears had authorised the entire operation in his wonderful green flag park himself. The guy in the combat trousers was just obeying orders.
All three of the lies are total bullshit. Looking at this lot, none are BTO ringers and rings do not go on “feet”. Powder- never heard that one before except in 40’s Poland etc. “Relocation”- that word again evoking a similar theme.
This operation was cruel and unprofessional, causing unnecessary suffering to these flightless birds in moult. Why would such a company spokesman give out such bullshit to the public if only to throw them off course for what they were actually there to do?
These birds over 50 were not restrained in any way whatsoever. I know from 17 years experience of having to catch geese that they are incredibly distressed when handled and fight like hell to escape. Imagine this number in small enclosure and you get the picture of what would be going on in this cheap trailer trash box.
That was that- they said they were being “relocated” and I have no way of verifying it- but ha ha I do. Watch this space, because Sandwell have dropped an almighty clanger.
Then today, low and behold to the week, I noticed around 70 birds missing from the lake- including a group that had been on rattlechain with distinctive markings. This lot wouldn’t know about such things and neither would John Satchwell– the Senior parks manager who lives in the park, whom it appears has ordered the same “relocation” again. I wonder when the green flag is being judged? Perhaps the geese intimidate him or his wife when grazing outside his house.
Needless to say that I have now asked questions about this sorry affair, to which I know that these birds never arrived at Sandwell Valley- the staff there know nothing.
Needless also to say that I will get to the truth of this matter because it is what I do, like rescuing injured birds that wildlife criminals try to kill or injure.