Golf club manager finds ball thief is a crow

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire February 10, 2019 20:14

The manager of a golf club in Dorset who carried out a personal investigation into why balls on the course kept disappearing has found the culprit is a crow.

Parley Golf Centre’s Daryl Dampney went out with his binoculars and spotted a murder of crows – one in particular, a carrion crow, was spotted swiping the balls and flying off with them, presumably mistaking them for eggs.

Daryl Dampney

Recently the course was expanded near to a wooded area, which is where it is thought the pilferer lives.

Daryl said: “We had a number of reports of balls going missing on various locations around the course.

“Then someone spotted a crow flying off with a ball so we knew who was responsible.

“There is a great deal of wildlife on and around the course, but this is the first time something like this has happened.

“We are letting our members and those who just turn up and play know about the crow.

“There are a number of the birds that seem to live in the woods so I expect that is where all the balls are.”

Tony Whitehead, a spokesman for the RSPB, said: “This does happen occasionally.

“It is likely that a single bird is responsible and is mistaking the balls for eggs that it wants to eat. Crows will fly off with food and store it in a larder for later.

“It is most likely a carrion crow and the way to stop it happening is to use fluorescent balls for a time.”

Parley Golf Centre is set within an 800 acre farming estate next to the River Stour. It is home to the 17th century Parley Manor and to Parley Equestrian Centre. Wildlife includes roe deer, badgers, foxes and a pair of rare grey partridges. A family of alpacas have been known to roam around the course as well.

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire February 10, 2019 20:14
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