Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 4°C

Search

Long Melford: RSPB offer £1,000 reward for information about illegal shooting of a young peregrine falcon

PUBLISHED: 13:13 09 September 2014 | UPDATED: 13:13 09 September 2014

The injured Peregrine Falcon which was illegally shot is recovering at Lavenham Falconry in Monks Eleigh. Stephen Younge is pictured with the bird.

The injured Peregrine Falcon which was illegally shot is recovering at Lavenham Falconry in Monks Eleigh. Stephen Younge is pictured with the bird.

Archant

Police officers and the RSPB are investigating the “appalling” illegal shooting of a young peregrine falcon – a bird that experts think may have secured a coveted place in the annals of Suffolk ornithology just weeks before being blasted from the sky.

The wounded peregrine falcon found in a field at Long Melford The wounded peregrine falcon found in a field at Long Melford

After being peppered by gunshot and suffering a broken wing, the bird is being cared for at a falconry centre with the aim of returning it to the wild when its recovery is complete.

It was discovered near Long Melford and the RSPB is offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in relation to the shooting.

Ornithologists think the bird may have been raised by a pair of peregrines in Bury St Edmunds – the first breeding record of the species in west Suffolk in modern times, and possibly the first time the species has ever nested in the area.

Keen naturalist Darren Underwood made the grim discovery of the wounded bird with a fellow Long Melford resident while walking on a public footpath near the village on August 20 and described the shooting as an “appalling crime”.

X-ray of the injured peregrine falcon found at Long Melford showing. You can cleraly see the pellets. X-ray of the injured peregrine falcon found at Long Melford showing. You can cleraly see the pellets.

Mr Underwood, of Cordell Road, said: “A local resident alerted me to a bird of prey that appeared to be injured. I was surprised to find that it was a juvenile peregrine falcon.

“It was very approachable and I assumed it had perhaps accidentally flown into the fence and was stunned.

“There were no obvious external injuries and with the resident’s help I put the bird in a box and contacted the Mulberry Court Veterinary Surgery in Sudbury. They were excellent and very caring and when they took an X-ray of one of the bird’s wings they found it had several pieces of lead shot in it.

“It had been shot with a shotgun. People are quite rightly appalled and disgusted by the illegal shooting of birds in places such as Malta and Cyprus, but the fact that such crimes are taking place right here at home is equally disgraceful.”

The injured Peregrine Falcon which was illegally shot is recovering at Lavenham Falconry in Monks Eleigh. Stephen Younge is pictured with the bird. The injured Peregrine Falcon which was illegally shot is recovering at Lavenham Falconry in Monks Eleigh. Stephen Younge is pictured with the bird.

As the RSPB announced its offer of a £1,000 reward to anyone providing information that leads to a conviction in relation to the shooting, the charity’s investigations officer Mark Thomas said: “This bird has only recently left its nest and has already been shot, presumably by a person who intended to kill it.

“Whilst it is good news that the bird has survived, it is unknown if the bird will make a full recovery.”

The wounded peregrine is being cared for by Lavenham Falconry at nearby Monks Eleigh.

Owner Steve Younge said: “It is doing very well. We have kept it hooded to keep it calm. It is eating very well and in the next two or three weeks we will try to build up its strength and fitness and we will see where we go from there but the hope is to return it to its rightful place in the wild.”

Suffolk police confirmed the shooting is being investigated.

Anyone who may have information should contact wildlife crimes officer Pc Mark Bryant on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Alternatively they can call the RSPB’s investigations team on 01767 680551.

The Orwell Bridge has reopened this morning after 80mph winds battered Suffolk and brought its closure.

Several schools in Suffolk are to remain closed or open later this morning amid high winds.

Across Suffolk, dozens of bands, singers, solo acts, choirs and orchestras ply their trade on evenings and weekends as part of the county’s eclectic night time economy.

High winds have led to rail service cancellations including on the mainline from Suffolk and Essex to London and local routes between Sudbury and Marks Tey.

High winds have brought down overhead power cables leaving homes in many Suffolk and Essex communities without electricity.

A well known west Suffolk pub has suddenly closed its doors after the district council received a licence review application from police, stating the premises was ‘associated with serious crimes and disorder’.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24