A man who illegally collected more than 5,000 rare bird eggs has been warned he faces jail.
Daniel Lingham, 65, was spotted “head-to-toe in camouflage gear” picking eggs up off the ground at Cawston Heath in Norfolk in May.
Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard that he was searched by police and said: “I’ve been a silly man, haven’t I?”
Lingham, of Newton St Faith, Norfolk, admitted five offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Officers found a total of 5,266 eggs of species including nightingales, nightjars, turtle doves, chiffchaffs, little-ringed plovers, woodlarks and kingfishers at his home.
Colette Harper, prosecuting, said that after Lingham was reported to police on 21 May, officers attended and searched him.
“He disclosed he had eggs on his person and produced two small tubs,” she said, adding officers also found he had a catapult and tree climbing spikes with him.
She said Lingham told the officers: “I’ve been a silly man, haven’t I?”
Officers then searched Lingham’s home and found tubs containing eggs under his bed and in the kitchen and living room, with many of them handwritten on.