Rare Bird Shot in Skegness

This story will shock conservationists today, but it is a brilliant insight into Victorian attitudes towards nature.

Cormorant Shot on Skegness Pier

On Saturday last a fine cormorant was shot on the pier head by a young man named Grimstead, who saw it hovering around the pier and saw it alight on a flag-staff, which is erected at the top of the saloon, 60 feet above the water.
The bird measures from tip of the beak to the tail thirty-two inches, and across the wings forty-six inches; its breast is of a bluish black, with black feet, and a patch of white feathers on the thighs.
The back is of a brownish bronze, and it has a long tail of 14 black feathers seven inches long, forming an oval shape.
The head is a bluish green, mingled with white, and there is a splendid tuft of black feathers at the back of its head one-and-a-half inches long.
This is undoubtedly one of the British species and known as the common cormorant which is mostly of a black colour, but for a short time during the breeding season exhibits a sprinkling of longish white, almost bristly feathers on the head and back of the neck.
It is very seldom seen on this part of our coast, and so far as is known the last that was seen in this neighbourhood was shot on Boston church steeple a few years ago.
Mr Grimstead has been very fortunate in shooting several very rare birds, including the stormy petrels, and the crested grebes, which he has stuffed, and they are now on view at his residence on Roman Bank.

Source: Skegness Herald 7th March 1884

It is possible that the stuffed birds, shot by Mr Grimstead, exist today.
Do YOU know anything about them?



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