Birds Shot on Wendover Arm Canal

On Saturday 25th January, sometime between 8am and 2pm, someone shot and killed one swan, one mallard and three moorhens and left their corpses floating in the water in the stretch of water on the Wendover Arm Canal betweenthe rail (foot) bridge near Walnut Tree Meadow and the Chestnut Road Bridge at Halton.Thecrime was reported to Thames Valley Police and also directly to the Wildlife Crime Officer. It is likely that the killed swan bore BTO rings and its fate will also be reported to the BTO.

PC5924 Dean Kingham of Thames Valley Police Wildlife Crime Division attended Monday 27 January and found only one swan (a cygnet from the brood hatched in 2013), but more moorhens and ducks than previously believed. The moorhens recovered so far have been x-rayed and found to contain air rifle pellets.Wildlife Crime Division and St Tiggywinkles attended the site 28 January to gather more evidence and recover as many birds as possible. The cygnet remains to be recovered and is expected to be removed from the canal 29 January.

PC5924 Dean Kingham of Thames Valley Police Wildlife Crime Division has now (29 January) confirmed that the cygnet remains are with a vet who is investigating cause of death etc.

Prior to this discovery, shooters were seen and heard in the woods at the back of the fields between Weston Turville Reservoir and Halton, but the shooting party (armed with shotguns) has now been discounted as the cause. The police are looking for one or more perpetrators armed with air rifles or air pistols.

If anyone knows anything about this crime, please inform the police using the 101 number as it will not require an emergency response.

This is the Thames Valley Police notice issued on 31 January 2014:

Criminal damage – Wendover

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses after wild birds were found dead in Wendover.

Between 8am and 1pm on Saturday (25/1) a number of birds were found deceased along the disused Wendover arm of the Grand Union Canal between Wharf Road, Wendover, and Brookside, Halton.

One mute swan, two mallards and seven moorhens were discovered dead by a member of the public. A pellet was discovered in the body of one of the birds.

Thames Valley Police is investigating and appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to contact police.

PC Dean Kingham, Wildlife Crime officer, said: “I am keeping an open mind as to how the birds died, however I am appealing for anyone with any information about this incident to contact police.

“I know there was a group of ramblers in the area at the time and it is a route popular with dog walkers so I would appeal for anyone who saw anything which could help the investigation to come forward.

“If you saw someone in the area acting suspiciously, perhaps carrying an air rifle or an air pistol, please speak to an officer.”

If you have any information please contact PC Kingham via the Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101.

If you don’t want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online via the Crimestoppers website. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.