Egg collector died in tree fall, coroner rules

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The Independent Online

Britain's most notorious collectors of rare birds' eggs died as he fell from a tree while examining a nest, an inquest heard yesterday.

Colin Watson, 62, climbed three-quarters of the way up a 40ft larch tree before he fell to his death.

Doncaster Coroner's Court heard he died from a punctured heart and multiple rib fractures sustained during the fall in woods near Churchfield Road, Campsall, Doncaster, on 24 May.

Coroner Stanley Hooper recorded a verdict of accidental death and said it was not his role to examine the circumstances of the fall.

Mr Hooper said that during the opening of the inquest in May, the court heard that Mr Watson, a power station worker, travelled to Doncaster from his home in Wistow, near Selby, North Yorkshire, with his friend, David Sargent.

The coroner said the pair had a cup of tea, then went "through a wood, chatting and considering things". He said: "Then Mr Watson climbed up a tree and the next thing his friend, Mr Sargent, was aware of was Mr Watson having fallen."

Mr Watson had a history of high blood pressure and his wife, Patricia, told the opening of the inquest in May that he suffered from "dizzy spells" quite often.