Poached (2015) Movie Script

[soft instrumental
music playing]
[birds cawing]
No, no.
Police won't get us.
In the past,
I've quite often thought about
doing documentary work
and, um,
putting videos out
and footage.
I've never been able to get
the opportunity because
of me having past
convictions and things.
The authorities will
never take me serious.
We try and keep it
secretive and all.
We don't want people
recognizing the faces and that.
We wear a lot
of camouflage gear and that.
So that if anybody
does come, you know,
we could obviously blend
into the woodlands.
[jaunty instrumental
music playing]
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Bird off!
It's an easy climb.
What's in it?
- Three.
- Three eggs. Are they nice?
Yes, actually, fantastic.
You keep your eyes open.
[Birds of a Feather playing]
[crowd clamoring]
[song ends]
I've got over
a hundred eggs this year.
Some of them eggs
are osprey,
golden eagle, and...
Oh, some avocets.
[wind blowing]
I've got about
3,500 odd eggs
in the collection.
It's so simple to just
not get caught.
You are a rascal.
You are a rascal.
Go on. Away you go.
Bugger off.
Bugger off.
You'll never
eradicate all crime.
You'll never
eradicate all thefts
and breaches of the peace
and murders and rapes,
nor any egg collectors.
The best you can do
is to minimize it.
[bell ringing]
Why is it particularly
the English
that are involved in this?
I don't know.
It's weird.
It's totally weird.
There's no other
word for it, really.
Egg collecting is almost
seen like pedophilia,
and that's a term that
I quite often hear.
And it disturbs me
very much, that.
[Alan] When I was very young, I
used to collect birds' eggs,
as did most people
at that time.
Most young boys
collected birds' eggs.
I can't understand it
because I was saying,
I never knew any
girls to do that.
Nope, all boys.
[Andy] It used to be
quite common for kids
to get involved
in egg collecting.
And as you get older,
you know, kids mature.
They find other things
to do, and it's something
that they grow out of.
But certain individuals, I think
they just become obsessed with it.
I couldn't stop collecting eggs because...
A bit of an addiction, I'd class it as.
It could be like a drug addiction.
I've never had a drug addiction, really, but
it could be like that.
It's a bad addiction.
The ultimate thing would
always be the golden eagle.
'Cause it's like, the
ultimate bird in the book and
used to always
dream about them.
You love them that much
you covet them.
When you find
a prize there
that's good.
It's strange.
It's not like they go out and
they take one egg from a nest.
They'll take the whole clutch,
and they will collect as many
of that particular
species as they can.
[soft instrumental
music playing]
Egg collectors have different
passions for difference species.
But there is no doubt the rare
birds are the ones that are of interest.
These people are not in it for
the money. It's obsessionally driven.
As I say, it's this
trophy hunting.
With a lot of
rare breeding birds,
they only get one breeding
attempt during the year
so if you take that clutch of eagle
eggs or the eggs from the osprey,
that's the end of the breeding
season for that bird for the year.
Birds like the
red-backed shrike
were lost in Britain because the last
pairs were really targeted by egg collectors.
I think if you've ever
seen anyone approach a nest,
you know how disruptive, how
distressing it is to the birds.
It will come in and fly over. It will
do everything to protect that nest,
its young, or its eggs.
I would say you really seriously we need to
look at yourself if you're into egg collecting.
It was one of the biggest
operations of its kind,
planned by police
for two years.
Officers seized more than
12,000 rare birds' eggs
when they raided the
homes of three collectors.
[Guy] In 1964, we got an act which
covered the whole of Britain
and made it illegal
to take eggs.
However, it wasn't illegal to
possess eggs until about 1982.
If you've got eggs now,
taken in the last 30 years,
we will be on your back.
We will be chasing you.
A serving police officer kept an illegal
collection of wild birds' eggs.
[female reporter]
When police raided this house,
they discovered wildlife
photographer, Dennis Green,
leading a double life.
It's a matter of pride that we
want to stop people from the UK
going and plundering the eggs.
Operation Easter
started in 1993,
and it has developed
since that time.
It now involves every single
police force in the UK and RSPB.
So we all work together
to catch egg thieves,
rather than each force
working independently.
One thing we will
be looking for
is obviously birds' eggs,
which may be well hidden.
In the past, we've
come across them hidden
in false bottoms on drawers.
So they will go to
extraordinary lengths
to actually hide
their collections.
As Andy has outlined, basically
treat it like a drug search.
[Andy] There's still a hard
core of collectors out there.
These are people who are
probably never going to stop,
and they are people who have
amassed huge collections of eggs.
These people want their place
in egg collecting history.
There was a very notorious
egg collector called Colin Watson,
who had a total of seven
convictions for egg collecting.
And he was a fairly
outspoken Yorkshireman,
and he was once being interviewed
by a TV crew about this.
I am a conservationist
at heart,
although it wouldn't appear
so from the hobby I pursue.
[Guy] He ran this campaign
of terror for over 20 years,
and he rampaged around the UK,
taking eggs of very rare birds.
He was often seen as
public enemy number one.
[male reporter] I believe I'm right
in saying that as many as 70
clutches of chough have been taken
by this particular egg collector.
They take those
choughs' eggs away.
And the chough's
not a common bird.
That puts me in a position, if
I want to carry on collecting,
that I have to replace
some of those eggs.
So inadvertently, the RSPB,
by confiscating the eggs,
are doing more damage
than what they would
if they left the owner
with the possession
of the eggs.
Seeing Colin Watson, you'd
interview him, you'd think,
"Whoa, that's the man, that." You
know, he's the, like, father of it all.
Whoa, great, you know.
I'll climb the tree
and check this nest,
and you'll wait at the
bottom of the tree, okay?
[John] Towards the end of his
life, he wasn't collecting eggs.
But he'd gone into just
photographing eggs in nests.
[Guy] He climbed up to look
into the nest of a sparrowhawk,
a bird of prey,
and he ended up falling out of
the tree and dying as a result.
[Mark] Watson was kind
of before my time.
But in the last 15
years, I've been
investigating some of the most
serious egg collectors in Britain.
The most infamous current collector
is a man called Matthew Gonshaw.
This man cannot
stop taking eggs.
He's totally obsessed by it.
[Done, Done, Done playing]
[song ends]
My name is Matthew, and I
was a convicted egg collector.
I got convicted of
collecting birds' eggs.
I mean, Matthew
came to our notice about
eight or nine years ago.
And since that,
he's been caught,
I think now, at
least four times.
When I got caught the first time,
it didn't stop me starting again.
I went out collecting again.
I was even collecting when
I had the tag on me ankle.
At the end of the day, if someone wants
to go out and collect eggs, they will.
It's almost like he's putting the finger
up at the authorities and the RSPB.
He's like, "You're not gonna beat me. I'm
gonna carry on doing what I want to do."
Sometimes I think, "[omitted]
the police, as well," you know?
The balaclava comes off.
Golden eagle eggs from a
nest on the Isle of Lewis
were among more than 600
stolen by a prolific thief.
Matthew Gonshaw, one of the most notorious
wild bird egg collectors in the UK,
is believed to have raided
170 nests
over the last eight years.
Uh, you know, I wanted a clutch
of eagle eggs, you know,
for my own gratification,
if you like.
[Mark] They had golden eagle eggs.
There was also peregrine falcon eggs.
There was avocet eggs,
osprey eggs.
It was a real kind of amazing
moment and sad moment in one go.
These were, you know,
the shells of birds
that should have hatched
and should be flying around.
And here we have
Gonshaw again being
really destructive to birds.
They've described me as
a prolific egg collector.
I mean, blimey, the
second lot of eggs,
I only had 800 individual eggs.
People like these
they like to sort of, uh,
try and label egg collectors,
that there's something
wrong with them.
They've got an egg collection,
themselves, the RSPB,
but they don't tell all their members
that. They keep it all quiet.
Most of their eggs they've got is what
they've stolen off of other egg collectors.
They haven't taken
them out in the field.
Guys show up, of the
RSPB, as a house thief.
When the police
searched my flat,
they took everything that
was to do with birds.
He's got maps.
He's got the binoculars.
He's got clothing
that is camouflaged.
He also has The SAS
Survivor's Handbook,
a handbook for elite forces.
Obviously, it gave Mr. Gonshaw
to some interesting reading
at nighttime, including chapters
on evasion, capture, and escape.
[Matthew] Completely
cleaned me out, basically.
All my optics, I lost,
my GPS.
[Charlie] This is what Gonshaw
used for blowing the eggs
and which the DNA evidence
was obtained from.
"I hope it never happens again,
so [omitted] off all you
protectionists and wildlife pigs.
The authorities are the ones which destroy
the planet, along with cars and aeroplanes.
I want no part with all this
greed and do what I believe in."
That was the
telescope I had there.
The guy showed up, the 50 that he stole
out of my flat. I paid 750 pounds for it.
I saved up a long time
for that telescope.
The man's a thief,
just a parasite, a thief.
I'd spit on him if
I see him again.
That's how I look at
him, is a piece of shit.
All we want these people to
do is stop egg collecting.
You know, we don't want to send any people to
jail. We just want them to stop egg collecting.
It's just got so
bad with this man
that jail sentences don't
seem to be any deterrent.
[Charlie] After he'd served a
six-month's jail sentence in England,
he was actually picked
up from the jail
and brought up to Scotland,
where he then faced
the Scottish charges and
was sentenced to six month's
imprisonment, but was also given
an anti-social behavior order.
They think that people
that collect eggs
have got something wrong with
them, mentally wrong with them,
but it could have
been a lot worse.
Could you imagine if there'd
have been dodgy videos
up here, DVDs of sexual things?
They would have had
a field day at that,
but they found because
none of that's here.
[Charlie] The Scottish courts
banned him from entering Scotland
indefinitely for the
bird-nesting season,
February to September, which
means for the rest of his life.
I'm not aware of any other case where
someone has been banned indefinitely
from entering Scotland.
If he chooses to go to Scotland
in the bird-breeding season
then gets caught, it will be
the longest ever jail sentence
an egg collector has faced in Britain.
It could be up to five years.
That would send out an
incredibly strong message
to anybody else who's considering
starting egg collecting
or, indeed,
continuing egg collecting.
[Matthew] If I wanted to go up to
Scotland, I would go up there.
What can they do?
You know, if I walked
into a police station,
what could they do, arrest
me, take me to court?
If I wanted to, I could still take all the
eggs I wanted to in England, couldn't I?
There's plenty of good birds
that nest in England.
[Alan] Catching wildlife criminals is a
priority for wildlife crime officers,
but you've got to take account of the
whole scale of crimes that are committed.
I've known John Kinsley, really,
since he came to light
in the mid '90s in an
egg collecting related case.
I think he feels
he's been perceived
as some major
wildlife criminal,
but he was always at the bottom of the
pecking order as far as we were concerned.
My name's John Kinsley, now known as Ben
Tarvie, and I'm an ex egg collector.
I don't like that one because you try
to get sort of a frown like that.
"And I'm an ex egg collector," you
know, because I came forward.
So that can look in body
language as though--
[crew member]
You've took ten takes.
Yeah, that's right, yeah.
My name is John Kinsley,
now known as Ben Tarvie,
and I'm an ex egg collector.
And this is Miller, and she's
never been an egg collector.
I started collecting birds' eggs
at about seven years of age.
And it was more like a shoebox
collection and
thrush eggs and blackbird eggs,
local birds
and working up.
And I always thought
when I was younger,
"Oh, this is something
I love doing.
I enjoy doing it.
I'd never, ever give it up."
And then when I was about 18, I
started working at a falconry center.
It changed me direction
because I had contact
working with birds of prey
and realized what an environmentally
destructive hobby I was going into.
I thought, "That's it.
I'll never collect eggs again."
And then I got into photography
and started doing photography.
If I hadn't have had that, maybe I might
have still been collecting eggs today.
I still get a lot of the same
feelings with photography
as I used to for
the egg collecting.
You know, you're going out,
and you're finding the birds.
You got to know when they're
breeding, where they are,
the best time to go
and find them and that.
Look at it. Look at the
eggs and go, "Oh, yeah."
Photograph them.
But like I said now, the
eggs don't interest me.
I don't even get the urge for it. It's
like, "oh, I'll pick that egg up.
I'll take it home.
Oh, I'll have a
secret collection."
That's well and truly gone now.
Occasionally, like, if there's
bird droppings on the egg
or there's a mark and that, I might
just turn one of the eggs slightly,
just so it's better for the
picture and stuff like that.
And then I'll put
it back how it was.
And so, really, I was
still collecting eggs
after I packed in
actually taking the shells.
But I was collecting eggs
as in a photography way.
And that's so I can show
people in the books
and stuff like that.
And people love seeing it.
And I could leave that on
my bookshelf in my house
and things like that, where you can't
do that with an egg collection.
I am now 43, and basically I've
had dead-end jobs in the past.
And I'd love to be able to
start a photography business,
sell some of my images, and offer these
images out to people who want to buy them.
I've got a friend,
Michael Stockson.
Michael was my assistant.
He was helping me to get back to
work and become self-employed.
When I go out with John, I
find and locate
nests, basically.
That's it.
I met him about,
oh, 1987, '88.
So it was coming towards the
end of my egg collecting career.
He was still an active
egg collector at the time.
I gave him my egg collection.
We've been friends ever since.
A true friend is
someone who sticks by you
and helps you out and
don't inform police on you.
I might stay out of trouble
when I'm going out
doing stuff in forests
and woods and stuff.
That's what just keeps
you out of trouble.
You got police
and stuff on you,
in mountains and that
they not got police.
All right, well, you're not
doing any harm, anyway.
It's just safe, it's just
I feel safe and okay
in mountains.
Trouble attracts to me
for some reason.
[John] You've got to have
a license in Britain
for photographing with eggs
of high-profile birds,
including schedule one, like eagles,
ospreys, peregrine falcons, and that.
They've got to assess
whether you're
knowledgeable enough to be
able to photograph birds
safely at their nest.
If I got caught photographing
a bird at a nest
without a license, and this
actually occurred to me.
I got a letter from a
license application place.
"Sorry, we're rejecting
your application.
There's information that's
come to our attention
from the police."
He was predominantly,
um, a photographer,
but he used to associate
with a number of egg collectors.
I got involved in
a case about 2006
where he was
actually up a tree.
He says he was trying to
photograph a goshawk nest.
And he was actually prosecuted
by North Wales Police
for disturbing the goshawk.
The nest that he was
near actually failed.
Basically, the parent
birds abandoned it,
and the eggs effectively died.
I got 12 months
probation service,
and I got banned from every national park and
RSPB reserve in the country for one year.
Because of Andy McWilliam
and links to him
everything, nobody will help me
out now because of him.
And this is what I'm
fighting against.
You know, so that's why I'm
bringing me book out against him.
You know,
to show the other side.
It's going to be called,
Scourge of the Birdman.
So he's the scourge of my life.
And it's nearly 400 pages, this
book, with photographs and that.
Because it was my past, I'm thinking of putting
it out as my proper name, John Kinsley.
And then I want to
move on from this.
Basically, this is closure.
I want to put that behind me,
and I'm working forward now.
So then everything
that continues then
will be under my business
name of Ben Tarvie.
I don't mind you leaving me phone numbers
and stuff on there like that, you know?
I know this documentary can help
towards getting a license in Britain.
I'm hoping to be able to prove
a lot to the authorities.
I just feel as though
they'll see my journey,
some of what I've been through,
some of what
I'm trying to do.
They'll even see me, like,
where I'm taking my young son,
Andrew, along with me and
showing him the right ways,
trying to get him into
wildlife and that.
And later on, as he
understands a bit more,
he'll see where
his dad went wrong.
So I'm trying to build something
now for my son,
and I've never, ever going
to jeopardize that again.
[soft instrumental
music playing]
[Mark] When I was 14,
there was an older boy,
and he was a great nest finder.
He was a god, if you like, within our
egg-collecting community at that time.
May the 23rd, I think it was 1976.
We were just finding nests.
That was stupid, really. We didn't have ropes
or nothing We were just free climbing.
And I found him
where I'd left him.
And he'd fallen from the
cliff, and he was dead.
Of course it sticks with me.
Moments like that in life never go away.
You know, they're there forever.
I can go back to
that day now vividly
as it happened yesterday
and see everything about it.
It was that that then
stopped me at that time.
I gave my egg collection
away 20 odd years ago.
I met a friend in work. We got
talking, we were friends.
And he said, "I used to collect eggs." He
just come out with it out of the blue,
and I said, "Well, so did I."
And I said, "Let's do it again."
I'm a lot older now.
I got transport.
I can travel, so we started, you
know, "Let's go up to Scotland,
up to the Orkneys, and do the sea
birds," which was phenomenal.
Stuff we used to dream of
when we was kids.
I made contacts.
Um, I joined the
Jourdain Society,
which is an organization which
is basically all egg collectors.
And it all come crashing
down, as things do.
[male reporter] There were
dramatic scenes outside Salisbury
Magistrate's Court
today as the defendants
left the building in no mood
to talk after hefty fines.
All were members of the Jourdain
egg collector's society.
After a tip off, police
raided one of their meetings.
It was the second largest
illegal egg collection
ever seized in this country.
There it is.
[Mark] Everybody, to have a life, must
have a pursuit and must have a passion.
I mean, what is the
purpose of living?
I live for this, for
the nesting season.
It gives me the drive for life.
If you'll have a look. I'll just open
that slightly, and maybe you can see.
There's five eggs in it.
You know, without passion,
you've got nothing in life.
Everything you see me and Michael Stockton
do in this documentary is a reenactment.
Neither of us collect any...
Everything you see me and Michael Stockton
do for this documentary is a reenactment.
Neither of us collect
eggs any longer.
I don't like that last bit.
[instrumental music playing]
We're going to try and show how the
egg collectors used to prepare eggs
that they keep
in the shell collections.
If they take eggs
out of the wild
and leave it with
all the contents in,
sooner or later, they
start deteriorating inside.
We all know what
a rotten egg is.
So what they used to do
was, um, hollow eggs out.
If the egg sinks,
that means it's fresh.
That's the time when
egg collectors really
want it because the
content will just flow out.
But if the egg is floating,
and it's bobbing like that,
it usually means it's quite far
on in the incubation period.
And there could be a chick
forming inside the egg.
Being honest, if that's only
just taken out of the nest,
that chick is still
alive inside that egg.
And they're putting solvents
in to dissolve the body.
And then they'll keep poking and prodding
it and putting more dissolvents in.
And then they might leave it for a
week, so it's rotten and emptying it.
And then they'll start shaking
it and pulling bits out.
It's like an abortion, really.
Um, would you fancy blowing this
in the professional-type way
and show them how
they do it, yeah?
Some eggs are quite... They're tougher
than what you think. You don't realize it.
These are the type of tools
that you can buy from DIY shops.
They have specialized
tools for doing this.
Just put the hole
in the back of egg.
And they're quite anal about
what they do because they want
everything to look perfection,
even though they
can't show these things off.
You've got the straw here, and he's
blowing air into the one hole,
which is forcing
the contents back--
- That's it.
- Broke it.
We'll have to do that again.
That's through.
Now, he's blaming the tools,
and they always say that,
you know, a rubbish workman
always blames his tools.
So what we'll do... I'll do this one just to
show you that I can still do it, you know.
So the content's out now, and all they want
at the end of the day is the empty shell.
They'll wrap the eggs
up, put them in the box.
They'll have all
the eggs in the box.
They'll seal the lid up.
They'll hide that somewhere.
And then if they're
leaving that vicinity,
they're driving along, the
authorities could stop them.
The authorities
check the vehicle.
There's no evidence to
prove where they've been.
So they've got one up on the authorities,
and it's like a game of cat and mouse.
They might have eggs up
and down the country.
And then they'll go back
outside the breeding season,
and they might take a
girlfriend or something up,
or the children on
an holiday up there.
And what they're actually
doing is going off
and they're picking
all these containers up
when the authorities aren't
looking for them,
so they can put it in their collection,
put it in a drawer like that,
close the drawer, and
nobody else sees them.
And they just go
up, drool about it.
Each egg has got a memory of where they've been
and where they've gone and what they took.
[music ends]
We've got a window,
let's go for it.
Let's go for it.
We might only get an hour
but let's get that hour
Yeah. Let's do it.
[Little Bird playing]
I'm making an
egg sandwich here,
but I've made an
omelet before,
about a three-egg omelet,
out of avocet eggs,
which was quite...
The eggs were quite delicious.
Being free range and all that.
I don't know what lapwing eggs are like,
but I'm sure they're nice eggs to eat.
This is, uh, Elmley
Nature Reserve.
It's part of an RSPB reserve,
which means I'm not allowed.
But, I mean, who would know if
I ever even walked in there?
I've taken quite a few good
clutches of eggs out of here.
I know that.
I've taken little owl,
barn owl, marsh harrier,
avocet, redshank, lapwing, turtle
dove, popchard duck, mallard.
Shelduck, I've never found.
They're quite... They build
long borrows in the earth.
Nothing in there.
People here are watching.
Once, over here on the
fleet we passed down there,
a bloke tried to drive
into me with a Land Rover.
I've even had a farmer let
off his shotgun towards me.
I don't like any harm
coming to any wildlife.
I mean, all right, taking
eggs might seem a bit cruel
to some people, but it's
not killing birds, is it?
I have found quite a few
eggs over here in the past.
Let's put a bit of
shade up for ya.
There you go.
Needs cleaning up, this
turntable, and resetting up.
[meditation music playing]
[music ends]
Egg collecting has a very,
very clear seasonality.
So, obviously, birds have
different breeding cycles,
and the egg collector's
calendar is based on all this.
[Alan] The police officers in
the different parts of the UK
will be aware of where
the rare birds nest.
They'll be aware of when
they nest, and, of course,
that's the potential for
catching egg collectors.
[Sinnerman playing]
Been collecting
since I was a kid.
Never been caught.
It just goes on
and on and on.
When I was a kid,
we used to fill bags up.
Years ago
I was just nonstop,
Every single day,
all day, every day.
As soon as I opened
me eyes, I'd be out
Until it went dark.
Now, my favorite
eggs to collect
Schedule one.
Proper rare stuff
that you cannot find.
That's what we go for.
There's a car approaching from here.
I'm just checking out other cars
He might be in them.
Even such a protected
site like this,
it's surprising how much
egg collecting goes on
on with the cameras
being covered up,
eggs just going missing
for no sort of real reason.
If any egg collector was to come
here and try and rob this nest,
they would
have to come in the day
to work out whereabouts in
the reed bed the nest is.
This is a big reed bed.
The birds are quite distant.
They'd have to stand
here for quite a while,
working out where the
birds are dropping in.
And we would see
them doing that.
All the authorities don't
know nothing about me.
Never been hassled at all
over egg collecting.
I can't show
my eggs to nobody.
Nobody can know
where they are.
In case you fall out
with them.
Girlfriend can't know.
You fall out with her
all your lifetime's
collection, gone.
If you're into egg
collecting proper
you find the nest early,
ready for laying.
Get it, bang on, when it's
just laying its last egg.
There's certain birds that
won't lay again.
Golden Eagles, Osprey.
I am doing it for
the buzz really.
How egg thief proof
do you think this is?
They have to get
past our volunteers.
They have to get past the
barbed wire, the fence.
There's a bog out there that
they have to traipse through.
All right, now, you
see here, the amount
of resources needed to guard
one nest 24 hours is incredible.
They're fine. They fit the mold
as dog walkers with binoculars,
as opposed to egg collectors.
If anyone is thinking of coming
to Norfolk to commit any form
of wildlife crime, I'd say, think twice
because chances are you'll be investigated.
And we will look to a
successful prosecution.
What the RSPB is doing here, it's
combining professional conservationists,
such as myself, with really
keen birding volunteers.
So in a way, it's
almost a nature's army.
We're creating an army out
of enthusiasts, experts,
professionals, and we're all
working together for the same goal.
And it enables the birds
to hopefully produce young.
The authorities
can suck [beeped].
That's what they can do.
Keep chasing their tails.
That's what they're doing.
Chasing their tails.
[muffled] the RSPB.
All right? [muffled] them.
Catch me if you can.
Six months in jail.
I have shit fear of that.
[mournful instrumental
music playing]
There were people coming every year to
try and steal the eggs of white-tailed eagles.
And the community just rose up against
it, really, and said, enough is enough.
So that's how Mull
Eagle Watch was born.
The Mull Eagle Watch
Project was able to protect
the few nests that were here in
the late '90s and early 2000s.
You know, it's gone from
a single pair in 1985.
And this year, it's
going to be up to 20.
I've got two coffees
to go, Cheryl, okay?
Okay, no problem.
- [David] Can I get a piece of that?
- Yep, mm-hmm.
- How are you doing, Cheryl?
- I'm doing okay.
- Yeah?
- Yeah, I'm doing all right.
[Cheryl laughs]
[Cheryl] The north part
of Mull, as a community,
we take a pride in protecting
these wonderful birds.
And what myself and
my partner will do
is at weekends we will walk out
and go and check on the nests
and make sure there's
no disturbance going on.
I think the biggest thing
when I watched them last year,
it was a true honor, I couldn't get over how
that mother bird was by sitting on those eggs.
And you're talking about 38
days of sitting on those eggs,
through torrent weather
through the winter.
You know, rain, snow, wind,
on the top of that tree,
swaying around, there's not many people I
know would sit out that long on two eggs.
It's a stamina. It's a perseverance.
It's a fight for survival.
You know, all of that that's
going into those eggs.
So, you know, when people steal them, I
think it's a hideous, hideous crime.
I still think we should have
a sign over here somewhere.
Something that just
says, nesting birds.
- Sea birds nesting, yes.
- Take care of.
[Mary] When I came to
Britain from Zimbabwe,
I really didn't
know the difference
between an eagle and a robin or
a blackbird or anything else.
And when Mr. Sexton from
the RSPB came to our house
and he said to me, would
I be interested in doing
a bit of eagle watch, and I didn't
really know what he was talking about.
I had no idea.
And he said it involved keeping
an eye on a pair of sea eagles
and trying to make sure that
nobody disturbed them in any way.
And so I said, "Yeah, okay." You
know, it was no big deal, really.
So I went down
roughly to the area,
and the most amazing
thing happened.
This eagle, it came out from some
trees and flew straight over me.
It must've been maybe 70
or 80 feet above my head.
I could hear the
wind in its wings.
I could see the yellow in its eyes, and I
actually get quite emotional about this
because it was just the
most beautiful experience.
And I couldn't believe there were
people who would harm these birds
or would even
think of stealing their eggs.
We went through quite a
lot of trauma in Zimbabwe.
And rather than go onto antidepressants
and other sorts of drugs,
I found a huge
amount of comfort and therapy
in looking after these, or helping
to look after these birds.
I've looked after
this particular pair
now for about seven
years, and I love it.
I swear, they're in
love with each other.
They can sit really, really
close together on a treetop.
You can't see
daylight between them.
And they'll preen each
other and preen themselves,
and they always talk to each
other. Just so human, somehow.
Each year that I've done
it, this particular pair
have produced two chicks.
That's, what, 14 chicks I've seen
come into the world and fly off.
It's like watching an aircraft
doing circuits and bumps.
You know, when the pilots are learning to
fly, they go up and down, up and down.
And that's just what happens
with these young birds.
And then,
after a few days,
they'll fly strongly before
they actually disappear
off into the wide, wide world.
I'm sure an egg thief would
say, "Well, it doesn't matter.
Yeah, they'll lay eggs again."
But it's like you say to
somebody who's lost a child.
In my humble opinion, it's just the same
as taking a baby away from a mother.
Do you think those birds
haven't got feelings?
Can you imagine the racket they will make if
somebody climbs that tree and takes the eggs.
I can't bear to think of that.
I know you don't, you, the egg
collector, you don't care,
but you should care.
This is my little lad. I mean, he's probably
about three, four years of age there.
And this is my friends,
again, in Scotland.
And I feel it's important to get young children
like this as close to wildlife and that.
And his mom said
to me, she said,
"Just because you're into birds, you know, you
can't make him go into birds when he's older."
I take him out and about, and I
just let him do his own thing.
And I think he's going to follow in
my footsteps because he loves it.
You know, and this
is my lad, Andrew,
and this is with a
European eagle-owl.
[I Like Birds playing]
[Andrew exclaims]
Some people
used to shoot birds
just because they wanted to put them in
cases like this so they could look at 'em.
Do you think that's
right or wrong?
Uh, are you sad? Are you sad?
I know.
I can understand.
Because it's not nice, is it?
Because we'd rather see these
birds in the wild, wouldn't we?
And that's so we
can photograph them.
Do you see all these up here?
These are what all the lords
used to kill a long time ago
because people used to do this.
I know, it's very disturbing,
isn't it, for a little boy.
But this is what the
lords used to do.
Now, I never thought you'd get upset.
But it's, in another way...
I never thought... Listen. When Daddy
brought you in ... He's very sorry.
He didn't think you'd get upset looking at
things like this, right? But listen. Listen.
This is called education because
there's people like you
that want to learn
about wildlife.
And they go and tell
others that it's wrong.
So they boycott all this,
and they stop all this,
so that little boys like you
don't need to get upset anymore at
seeing dead birds and dead animals.
Because we'd rather
see them in the wild. Okay?
Come on. Stop being soft now.
Come on. Stop it.
Listen. Listen. Can you stop crying?
Try and be a bit professional.
I want the golden eagle egg.
There's no golden
eagle in there.
This here, it's not a
very, very good collection,
but these are what the lords
from the past have collected.
You know, from when
it all started.
And it's actually really, really
good field craft to find them.
- Oh, is it not interesting, eh?
- I don't like birds dying.
You don't like birds
dying, Okay.
I'm very, very sorry
for upsetting you.
I didn't think it
would do this to you,
but it just shows that you
understand what's going on.
Okay, should we go out now?
Come on, then.
Let's go up there, then.
You learned a lot,
didn't you, because,
being honest,
you need to know as well.
But I'm six years old.
I know you are.
But you need to know as well.
Don't say one more
thing out of your mouth,
you'll make me sad again.
[soft instrumental
music playing]
Here we are.
I'll show you a picture of
my dad because this has got
all that type of stuff in there.
That's my dad.
My mum, she was, uh, quite an
attractive woman when she was young.
This is my mum.
That's my mum when
she was young.
So I've got some stamps,
and they're all of nature,
of birds and stuff.
Mostly... My dad
bought most of these.
We've always been a nation
of collectors, haven't we?
There's all these sets here, and
all these that my mum got me.
1974, like, happy
birthday from my mum,
you know, first-day issues
and all that.
When my mum and dad
were together
there was always people,
lots of people there, you know,
because my mum was
quite popular.
She was good at handling
people, as well, in her job.
So she had a knack of getting
on with people, which, uh,
is quite a good skill to have because
I haven't quite got that skill.
Hold that for five breaths.
Jump the feet to the hands.
Bend the legs.
I had a female friend of mine that was a
yoga instructor of mine a few years ago.
And when I got caught, of
course, it was in the papers.
And, uh, she was really
pissed off at me, basically,
and I was kicked out of there.
I was told to leave.
When I began to find out what
yoga's really about...
You live your life
as a person, I started
to have conflicts with myself
about the taking of eggs.
If you really, uh, are a
real practitioner of yoga,
it's about what you do in life. It's
not just what you do on the mat.
It's about not harming wildlife
or being violent with people.
Come, Boy.
Come out, then.
Sometimes I think
I'm misunderstood,
but I do fall out
with people, you know?
I look after my little
pet, my little Boy here.
I look after him properly
because I love him.
[bird chirping]
I think he has emotions, but I don't
know if he has a conscience or not.
And I think taking a clutch
of eggs can distress the hen.
Mothers and fathers love
their children, don't they?
I did fall out with my dad
a lot when he got older.
I didn't write him
a letter from jail.
So I decided I'm
going to go and see me dad
when I get out because
I hadn't seen him for a while.
And he's very old.
I remember, I kissed him
goodbye on the cheek,
you know, and that
was the last time
I actually saw him because
two months later, he died.
My sister phoned up.
Jane says, "Dad's died."
So, um, I'm glad I saw him
when I got released from jail.
It was like me saying
goodbye to him in a way.
I'm getting a little bit upset,
but he got found on the toilet.
It's not unusual. They get found
on the toilet when they're old.
And my sister-- He got
found on the toilet.
But I'm glad I saw him when I
got out of jail to say goodbye.
And he did say to me, he said, "Don't
do it anymore, Matthew." You know.
I don't collect eggs anymore.
The same as my mum. She didn't
agree with the egg collecting,
but she knew why I'd done it.
[upbeat instrumental
music playing]
Five, six...
Because you have lots of
ups and downs in your life
and that, I needed to get rid of some
of that tension that I was having.
And when I started
back taekwondo,
I'm finding that I'm
much calmer these days
because I'm looking
forward to my classes.
And it helps me
to focus my mind.
My mom was always wanting
me to get me black belt.
And that was another reason
that when I packed in,
I was about three gradings
off black belt.
So I felt as though I
let my mom down a bit.
I help him as much as
I can, but I just worry
about him when I'm not around.
I just want to know that he
has got something behind him.
Say that he needs the chance.
He needs the opportunity.
Just add to it, like, he needs just somebody
to give him a break and give him a chance.
He needs someone to be behind
him, to give him a break
and reconsider to
give him a license.
I want to achieve my black
belt. It's not just for saying,
I'm a black belt,
and I can go out
and I can do this,
that, and the other.
It's because it's a goal.
And that's what I want
to do in my own life.
I want to achieve goals and
do things and, you know,
just make a better life
for myself and my son.
When we started out
with the documentary,
I had an assistant with
me, Michael Stockton.
I mean, Michael Stockton
is one of my best friends,
but I've got a lot at
stake at the moment.
And I think he's just a
little bit of a loose cannon.
In the past, like, I've been done
through guilt through association.
If he went off the rails
a bit while he was with me
and something happened,
it could jeopardize me.
So sometimes, you've
got to take a step back.
You've got to reflect
on what you're doing.
I know I've done
wrong and that, but I want
to be able to prove to
the authorities, you know,
that I'm now a
trustworthy person.
I'm a changed character.
I think in a completely
different way.
I'm heading in the
right direction,
and, you know, this is my life. And
it's just basically what I want to do.
[camera clicks]
My fear of, um, talking to,
like, documentary about this.
Really, now, you know.
There's a part of me that wished I
hadn't even opened up about this.
But because I've been
honest and I've been open,
and I've got nothing to hide.
And things like that, you know.
I've got a friend who I've known for
a few years who's an antique dealer.
And, um, occasionally,
he gets offered to move,
like, things out of houses.
Somebody had got
in touch with him.
I don't know who it was,
I just got a phone call.
And he said this guy
was dying of cancer.
And I think he was just
trying to tidy things up
to save his wife having to do it when
he's gone, and things like that.
The bloke now is deceased.
And he got this
collection of eggs.
Now, it's illegal to
sell wild bird eggs.
So this guy had give this
collector all these eggs.
But this collector,
um, antique dealer,
didn't want anything
to do with the eggs.
And so he gave me
a call and asked me,
would I be interested
in taking these eggs?
The antique dealer didn't really know
what was there, he hadn't sorted them,
and he didn't want
anything to do with the eggs.
But because, obviously,
he was an antique dealer,
he said he could have made
a few quid out of the cabinets.
So he wanted a small sum
for the cabinets,
and all the eggs
came free and that.
So any road, at the moment,
I need, I've got no interest
in eggs, except for my past.
I just thought it would be sacrilege if
these eggs just got thrown out and smashed.
All these birds had
died for nothing.
I don't want to be committing
any wildlife crimes.
As far as I am concerned,
I've just took something
from a bloke that was dying, and he
just, you know, were moving things on.
Obviously, I'm a bit secretive about this at
the moment 'cause of the legal things in it.
So it's a bit of a hush-hush
thing at the moment.
It's, um, you know, as
far as I'm concerned,
it's just myself who knows
about this at the moment.
I'd say this egg collection
is quite important.
You know, I think
it's, um, you know,
it's touching on four figures,
maybe a bit more, you know.
It could be touching a thousand eggs.
It might be a few more.
I'd rather not
say at the moment.
It's just, um...
I've got a feeling I'm going
to end up losing this
when you put this out
and stuff like that.
I think I'm just going to
end up losing all this.
I think this... I think it
might have been a bad thing,
me starting this here, you know, with
these eggs because I don't know.
I just think the
RSPB will end up
a blackmailing me type thing.
"Oh, well, you hand over your
eggs and that, and, you know,
we might help you with
a license and that."
You know, they just...
I don't know.
They'll just be
after a conviction.
That's why I'm not
going to tell them.
So with the egg collection, I'm hoping to,
like, photograph it, process it, be able to,
like, mention about it,
keep it.
And now, you know,
I think that was
a rash decision at the time.
Now, looking back on it, because
I've had sleepless
nights over it.
You know, and then I'm
frightened about
getting caught
with it in the future.
And then I'm frightened about
what it's going to jeopardize me.
And then all of a sudden,
everything I've built up
and the steps that I'm moving
forward and stuff, all that,
you know, I might have burned all them
bridges and stuff, you know, and that.
So really, in a way,
I don't want all this
over me and making me ill again.
It's making me ill.
My son doesn't even know
about these eggs and that.
I mean, when we went to Dunrobin
Castle, the museum there...
It really taught me...
How much
it meant to my son about,
you know, when we was explaining to him
about what people did with eggs and blowing
the contents out of the eggs
and all these dead birds.
And I'm thinking, "I've got
loads of them there," you know.
And I said, I don't want you to upset my
son, so I don't even want my son to know
about these and see them
and stuff.
And even though he's only
six years of age now,
you know, it's a strong impact that
a six-year-old can have on you.
I know my son would be devastated
taking eggs out of nests.
Or if he'd ever see me take an egg and show
him what they did, he'd be devastated.
This egg collection is really,
really getting me down,
you know
having it in my possession.
So I think something
needs to do with it.
And I'd like to open up to the
RSPB, tell them about me issues.
But I don't want to be prosecuted
over this egg collection.
I don't want it if it's going to bring
me down and lower me this much.
You know, I'm not an egg collector.
I don't collect eggs and stuff.
Eight, 12, 16, 20, 24, 25, 26.
As far as I'm concerned, the law it states that
it wasn't illegal to collect eggs up to 1954.
So as far as I'm concerned, any eggs that
were taken before 1954 are legal to have
if the data card is with it,
and it can be proved.
Before anybody
actually sees these,
I want to have the time to
be able to sort them out,
see which eggs have
got the data cards,
put all the ones
together, and say, "Right.
They're the one's that's
got all the data cards,
and these are the data cards
that correspond to it.
These are eggs
taken before 1954."
Then say to the RSPB, "Look, this is
what's happened. Can I keep them?"
And if there is anything that's not
there, you say to them, "Listen.
Please take them away." You know what
I mean? I don't want to be getting
in trouble for something
that I've not done.
Going to Burford,
so now it's a chance to
go in and have a proper talk
to these people.
I'm not exactly going to say that
I've actually got it at the moment.
Or obviously, I've committed
myself now by saying all this.
I've opened the can of worms, and,
you know, I need to deal with it.
This has took me down, and it's made me
think that I end up going to prison over it,
being away from my little lad for
three or four months in prison
and having to explain to him, you
know, letting him down and that.
And I don't think
I could handle it,
you know, because I think
then I'd look on it.
And I'd think, I'd got so
far, and just because
this egg collection had come
in and I took a wrong path
and whatever and that.
And I got caught with
this egg collection.
I'm 44 now, so it would
be another five years
before I could apply for a Schedule
One license. I'd be nearly 50.
It's pointless me even trying it This
is my last chance and stuff like that,
and I don't want this egg
collection pulling me down.
I don't know. I just really don't know
how to go about this at the moment.
[both] And bang.
That's good.
- Got it.
- That's it, mate.
Let's have a look,
see what we've got.
I think there's four
chicks, by the look of it.
Yeah, so four chicks, it is.
Hold his leg out.
Pop his leg in there.
Close the ring.
That's it, simple as anything.
[Mark] At 20 odd years ago, after
the court case and everything,
I gave up egg collecting.
I hate egg collectors now
and what they stand for,
but my passion is, um, nest recording
and nest finding for the BTO.
I'll have a couple of hours
out every day to ring birds.
[David] The British Trust for
Ornithology is a charity,
so basically the ethos of it is to
collect information for conservation.
There are a lot of different
bits of information
you need when you're looking
to conserve a species.
Obviously, knowing whether the numbers are
increasing or decreasing is very important.
You can look at that
with bird ringing,
and that's really where nest recording
and the BTO's Nest Record Scheme fits in.
It's a survey designed to
monitor changes in the number
of offspring being produced across a huge
range of species in the UK each year.
I think that the subject of approaching
nests is a controversial one.
The folk who have been
able to find nests
have been slightly worried about how
that behavior will be perceived.
[Mark] I think a lot of egg
collectors would say the same thing.
It's not the eggs.
It's the pursuit.
I'm still getting the same buzz,
but without doing any damage.
And...there you go.
People are gonna see it
as, "Oh, well, you know,
he was an egg collector."
Shit, I mean, most
nest recorders, you know
and I see a lot of them, were
past egg collectors, you know?
That's how they started,
as a boyhood thing.
It's a past that I am ashamed
about, you know, in some respects.
But obviously, it's given
me the knowledge to find,
find nests
like I do now, you know?
If it wasn't for that, then
I wouldn't know how to do it.
[David] I think we should
be striving to make
the most of the information
that's held by ex-collectors.
Quite frankly, they are some
of the only people who know how
to find the most
difficult nests,
and the data collected
is absolutely vital.
Those information
really underpin
conservation efforts in the UK.
[John] I've been trying to
meet with the RSPB for a long time,
and today I'm actually going
to sit down with Guy Shorrock,
you know, and talk about
a few of these issues.
You know, I met
Mr. Shorrock in 2006
when I was going through the
court case over the goshawk.
And, you know, he
seemed a nice guy.
I felt a lot
of respect for him.
But he knew that
his colleague who
was always fighting against me
never got anything out of me.
I'll go in with an
open mind,
and I'll evaluate how much
information I'm going to tell him.
And I'll soon find out whether
they really want to help me
move on, or they're just still
interested in persecuting me
and fighting against me.
So, you know, we'll see
how this one pans out.
[indistinct chatter]
...the profile of people who get
convicted of these sorts of offenses,
20 years or so...
[John] Hello, Mr. Shorrock, uh, it's
been a long time, no see. I don't...
- You'll remember me, after, you know--
- I do, yeah.
Hopefully, we're meeting
under better circumstances.
Yeah, that's right.
How are you doing?
Uh, I'm doing really
good at the moment.
Is there any way we
could set up a meeting
and I could, um, educate you a bit more
about where I'm going and things like that.
Absolutely, yeah.
All right, then, cheers.
Thanks very much, cheers.
I'm putting a lot
on the line today.
I'm bringing me friend
with me, Matthew,
and I've asked him to operate
my hand-held camcorder.
So then, you know, I've also got a
documentation of this interview.
You know, he gives me his word
that I won't get prosecuted
for something and then this
court case starts coming,
I've got something
evidential to back me up.
Oh, are you ready?
Oh, hello, Mr. Shorrock.
Yeah, thanks for, um, you know,
giving me this opportunity.
No problem. Have a seat.
Yeah, yeah, let's just
bring some stuff around.
So what are you doing at the moment? Are
you actually in full-time work, holiday?
Oh, what's happened, I've been a lot of
ups and downs, especially since 2007.
And I've had a young boy, and so he's
inspired me to go do things and that.
But I was going through a lot of depression
at the time and things like that
and especially after the court case and even
during the court case and things like that.
It's not a nice environment.
And, um, it got
that bad at one time,
- Considered taking my own life.
- God almighty.
See, it's still quite
raw to me, this stuff.
Yeah, you've got to get this
thing in perspective sometimes.
I mean, at the end of the
day, it was-- You know,
in the overall scheme of things,
it was a disturbance offense.
It's not murder.
I know it's personal
to you, but--
I'm on the understanding
that you still think
that I made those goshawk
eggs become unviable.
I work in evidence, John.
It's as simple as that.
So I've got, you know,
you at a nest site.
I've got a failed goshawk nest,
and some eggs to a scientist.
And all he can do is
give me a date range
and say, they probably
fell between these days.
And one of the dates
that you were at the nest
was sort of in that range.
The problem for you was it
was a premeditated visit.
That's something that I
don't want on my record.
John, look, no dispute.
I don't think anybody,
me or my colleague James
who dealt with it, thought for one
second you meant those birds any harm.
I don't think anybody did that.
But this is why there's
a licensing system.
I know.
And, you know, you put your foot
over the line, and you got caught.
But, you know, I have
done so much more
than just been a naughty boy
in the past.
Our perception of you
is somebody who's
had a bad choice of friends and
has gone out with egg collectors
because it gave you opportunities
to get some photographs as well.
There's a lot of people that are going to be
watching this documentary and stuff like that.
What's the gist on the--
Like, say somebody's died,
and there's a collection
being handed down and--
- We get this all the time.
- I know.
[John] I just need to know a
bit more about it as well.
Basically, all my job is about
catching wildlife criminals.
I'm not really interested in somebody
who's found something in the loft.
I'd like to open up on
you and this and that.
Um, you know, and I don't want to go to any
more court cases and this type of deal.
But, um, August last year, an
antique dealer friend of mine
actually got in touch me.
And he said he's cleaning an
house out for someone who died.
And he said that he's got a
massive egg collection,
he said,
with all the data cards,
and it's all legal.
You've got the data
for all the collection?
That's what I thought
when I took it.
- And because I want-- - Right,
John, let me just cut you off.
Let me just cut you
off, there, John.
One of the problems is with
these old egg collections,
we've had cases where
people have got old eggs.
And it's an opportunity for
them to hide new eggs in there.
Well, I give you my word. I've never, ever
added to that. There's nothing there.
You can come and check
and check everything.
Well, you've just got to
be really careful, John,
because I get the
impression that your past is
a bigger stumbling block in
your life than it really is.
I just really-- I don't think your
past is an issue at all, honestly.
By the same token, you have to bear in mind
that you don't want it come back to haunt you.
I know--
So you just can't put
yourself in positions
with having eggs in your
house, with getting caught
near rare breeding birds, whether
it's in this country or in Europe.
So you've just got to make sure
that you're absolutely on the ball.
So I can have your word that I'm
not going to have me door come off
and loads of hassle
and that and stuff.
Well, I can't give you my
word because I could get down
to my desk tomorrow, and some
reliable source could ring up,
saying you've got an egg
collection in your house
with somebody else's
eggs hidden inside them.
No, I haven't.
[interposing voices]
Do you think I'd be opening this up
if I have, you know what I mean?
I can't say I won't do my job
if the information comes in.
On Monday, I'll start the ball
rolling on this to start moving
this on and that, so
as soon as because this
is important to get this, like,
monkey off my back and that.
Well, I'm going to prove to you.
Your never, ever going to have another
court case with me, you know, and that.
And I'm not going
to let myself down.
I'm not going to
let my son down.
And I've come so far.
I've worked hard to get here.
You know, so thank you for giving me
the opportunity to meet with you.
[crew member] Can I have
a picture together?
Yeah, can we have a...
Yeah, yeah, so...
[Guy] The thing that
strikes me with John
is in view of his history,
his stated intent
that he wants to reform
and move on with his life,
and it does look like he's made
some genuine efforts there.
He then goes and does something crazy
like acquire a load of birds' eggs.
Why on Earth would you do that?
He is responsible
for his own actions.
And, um, if he wants to get into
a position where he's trusted,
issued licenses to photograph
rare breeding birds,
he has to generate that trust.
And if you make bad
decisions, like getting
5,000 or 6,000 eggs in your
house, it doesn't really help.
You know, John Kinsley is left behind
now, and Ben Tarvie's moving forward.
Ben Tarvie's a different person
to what John Kinsley was,
so, you know, let's just
see what the future brings.
[soft instrumental
music playing]
Boy, he got a stroke. Uh, he had a
stroke, and, uh, yeah, he-- He died.
He was a lovely bird, friendly
and he liked being around me.
If I was in there in the
bedroom watching telly,
he'd fly in occasionally, perch
on the telly, sort of like
to say hello like,
you know what I mean?
I was very sad to lose him.
I buried him.
I gave him a funeral. I'm not
going to just get rid of him.
I buried him.
Buried him.
Someone in the street,
someone I know...
Not a friend, but knows
my family and that.
And he says, "Oh, you've
been a bit unlucky."
And I'm thinking, "Oh, I don't
need you to tell me that, don't I?"
You know, losing a sister and
my mom and my dad all at once.
I've got one sister left.
We stopped talking
a few years ago,
but I've got bridges
to build with Jane.
I said some nasty things to her. She said
some things that I didn't like to me,
just family stuff,
because she's still my sister.
Hello, Jane? All right?
Nice to hear ya.
Oh, I'm not too bad.
Are you still with Les?
Yeah, good.
Oh, did ya?
Was ya?
Yeah, I've done
nothing on my birthday.
I'm really pleased for
you, Jane, I really am.
I'm pleased
that you've got Les.
I'm pleased that you've got him
in your life. I really am.
It's hard for me because I've got no one.
There's no one that I can confide in.
The only person I can confide
in is you because you're family.
I know what I said. And, you
know, what I've said, I've said.
You know, I've said sorry.
And, um, it would be nice if we could
be, like, brother and sister again.
All right, nice to speak to ya.
Bye, bye.
Well, I broke the ice with
her, so that's the main thing.
So it was a bit awkward for me,
phoning up, but I'm glad I did.
That's it. All right.
[soft instrumental
music playing]
Egging is finished with me now.
I mean, my eyes are not as good.
I've lost all my stuff, and uh,
it's hard work.
It's just bloody hard work.
And it's for my well being, I suppose,
but I can't really replace it.
Some of the nicest
things I've ever done
has been egg collecting.
There's always sort of
like this romantic scene
or setting about egg collecting,
some of the places.
But I've never shared it with no one.
I've always been on my own.
But some of the places and some of the
things that I've seen have been like,
you know,
you could write a story.
It gives an imagination
of a romantic setting,
like the sun setting
and a big wide sort of, like,
loch in the Highlands
and all that, you know.
And if I'd have had a girl in tow,
I would have taken her with me.
I would have shown her
a few things, you know?
I'd like to find a female.
I'm getting into the latter part of
my life, now. I'm in my 50s, now.
So, you know, I hoping...
To grow old
gracefully, if you like.
Slow down a little bit,
not get so sort of wound up
about things, I suppose.
I've heard it said to me,
my own worst enemy is me.
But that's the way it is.
[dramatic instrumental
music playing]
[knocking on door]
- Hi, John.
- How are you doing?
Nice seeing you again.
Come in.
- Were you there for a while?
- Oh, no. Oh, no.
This is one of the cabinets, and I
did start trying to arrange some it,
you know, a while ago.
How many eggs
are there in the--
I don't know.
I mean, that's just
various lapwings.
Right, and there's
no dates with these?
There i, lapwing cards and
stuff, but I've not sorted them.
And a lot of them, you can't see the marks,
you know, because the eggs are so dark.
It'd be outrageous to smash something
that somebody can learn so much about.
And this is... This should go into
a museum. And I'm sure that...
Well, that's what... hat's what...
I mean, I appreciate, um...
'Cause it would-- It would be wrong
to smash them like that, wouldn't it?
Well, that's
the approach...
You know, we'll be contacting--
We'll start with Liverpool Museum.
'Cause each one of these birds signifies a
bird that's lost its life and that, you know.
So the guy who passed
this over to you,
you've got all his details
or you could give him a call?
I can get it. I can get
something written from him,
and he'll actually give me the person
who it was that he got it from.
And he's died.
He actually went to his funeral.
Right, I mean, that's
going to be, uh, something
we'll be looking
at or looking for.
[music continues]
I'm taking it on what he says,
basically, so...
A lot of that is recent.
A lot of it is modern.
And what he's doing
is matching. I can see.
'Cause I was just looking
at the data on the eggs.
Although the numbers
are the same,
there's different inks, and
there's names cut of of cards.
Also, I recognize the insets,
I've seen those before.
That another collector did.
At the end of the day,
he's handing it over,
which is, you know,
what we want.
[music continues]
More than I anticipated.
- Thanks for your understanding.
- No worries.
You know, and hopefully,
you know, we can leave--
Yeah, hopefully, we can leave
a few things in the past.
Yeah, we can.
[engine revving]
My name is John Kinsley,
now known as Ben Tarvie,
and I'm an ex egg collector.
All right, the nest
is just in that clump
over there in the short.
You've got to give
everyone a chance.
It's simple as that. Whatever...
The past is past, you know?
I definitely advise
any egg collectors out there
who want to give up
their, um, pointless pursuit
to go and get in touch
with the BTO.
Join the Nest Record Scheme.
I mean, it is so enjoyable.
It is fantastic.
Take up ringing.
Get to handle the birds.
You know, follow
the birds through.
There is nothing like a
joy of seeing the birds.
[soft instrumental
music playing]
[Mary] Oh, my God.
There's your baby, Mary.
[all gasping]
Mary, come and say hello.
Say hello to your eaglet.
Oh, you're just so beautiful.
Oh, bless it.
I can't believe it.
It's just beautiful.
Bless it.
All right?
- [Mary] After all this time.
- I know.
It's the first... All these
years you've been coming,
and the first time you've
actually seen one eye to eye.
[Mary] How old is it?
About five weeks.
That's it, now.
I can die happy, now.
Sometimes I feel sorry for
the golden eagle birds
because they don't
really lay again.
They're just flying
around all year.
There are no
chicks to feed.
Nothing to do.
And I can feel a bit
not right with that.
Because there's something
bearing that burden
that's riding on me.
That's why I got into egg
collecting, because I love birds.
But my favorite thing
in life is egging.
Taking birds' eggs.
It's just an addiction.
I can't help it.
[patriotic instrumental
music playing]
I could go up to Michael to challenge him.
I'm a wildlife authority.
Go up to challenge
him... "I think you...
I think you... I think you've got eggs in
your pockets. I'll have to check you."
He goes in his pocket.
He pulls a blade out.
It's in you. Is it worth losing
your life for attacking somebody?
First, never approach anybody
and never challenge anybody
if you think they're
collecting eggs.
Some girls find
me a threat, and
I don't mind that because it
just shows that I'm red blooded.
Because if a female don't
find you as a threat,
a bit of a threat, then it
means, like, oh, he's harmless.
And then they might be a little bit
suspect about where your sexuality is.
I will be nest finding
until I drop dead,
without a shadow of a doubt.
I like birds
more than anything.
I've just been brought up
with birds.
[John] That's where
your knowledge is.
And that's where
my knowledge is.
That's it. That's all I can
say, really, isn't it?
In Africa, they
would go to jail,
and the keys would
be thrown away.
What about little Ben Tarvie? I've heard
you've been making some big ideas
of what you want to do now.
So what do you want to be?
- What do you want to be now?
- A wildlife officer.
You want to be a wildlife officer?
That's a good calling, isn't it?
[Andrew] No, but I don't
want you being silly.
I don't want you
to be silly, Dad.
Stuff in the room.
Some of the egg thieves actually wonder whether
we just want all these eggs for ourselves.
Contrary to what some
egg thieves may maintain,
I don't have an egg collection and
have never had an egg collection.
[music ends]