I've been plastering this all over twitter, and it certainly deserves a corresponding blog post.
On Monday evening at about 19:45 I had a phone call from Dad, some Seaton residents had reported seeing a sick or injured Peregrine soaked and unable to fly along the west walk of Seaton Beach. I leaped up and headed out.
Dad was already there and they had managed to get the bird into a box and were underneath a shelter. I carefully took it out to have a closer look. What a stunning bird to lock eyes with, a pleasure to hold, but in the worst possible circumstances. The bird didn't seem to show a broken wing, but did have an alarming suspicious-looking wound on its right wing...
On returning to the car with the bird, I informed the Police, and took the bird up to Mum and Dad's where the RSPCA were called. The bird spent the night in the box, and was collected by the RSPCA at 9am the following morning.
On Wednesday, Sergeant Dave Knight called mid afternoon, with two very upsetting bits of news:
1/ The bird had to be euthanized due to an infection.
2/ The wounds were consistent with a gun shot wound.
Pretty soon, D&C Police got this press release out: http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Police-appeal-peregrine-falcon-shot-East-Devon/story-21067702-detail/story.html
I have to say, the Police, especially PC Josh Marshall and Srg Dave Knight (both WCO's) were very helpful and informative. I even had a call from the local station asking how everything was going which was much appreciated. I know wildlife crime isn't taken as seriously as it should be in many counties of the UK, but have to say, I feel like we have a dedicated and proactive team here. Saying that though, I highly doubt the offender will ever be caught...
I believe the RSPB are planning on another press release later today, possibly with a reward on offer. I'll post the link up here when it's out.