Archived News - Birds Of Bray
Pepsi the kestrel is owned by the Birds Of Bray team, and vanished in August after being attacked by rooks.
Owners Sue and Chris Mitchell searched for him for several weeks in vain, and doubted that he would ever be returned to them and to his female feathered friend, kestrel Cola.
Then, much to their surprise, the phone rang in the run-up to Christmas with the news that Pepsi had been found in a garden in Great Wakering, near Southend.
Pepsi was retrieved by the Dangerous Wild Animal Rescue Facility team, based in Great Wakering. Thanks to his identity ring, his owners were traced with the help of the Independent Bird Register.
Talking about the bird's disappearance, Chris explained: "We were flying the bird privately, on our own land, in August, and some rooks came down and mobbed him. He flew off and we spent the next three weeks searching for him.
"Normally, they stick around for two or three days, but obviously he didn't. I must admit that after about three or four weeks, we gave up hope. We thought 'that's it, he's gone'. Then we had a phone call from the Independent Bird Register to say that the bird had been found.
"I was absolutely amazed. We went down and picked him up and he recognised us straight away, he sat there bobbing his head.
"I don't know whether he went down there for his holidays! We are just surmising that the strong winds had blown him there, but we are not absolutely sure."
Pepsi was weak and had obviously not been feeding well during his months in the wild. But since his return, he has been tucking into food packed with vitamins, and he now seems fine.
lain Newby, of the Dangerous Wild Animal Rescue Facility team, explained that the organisation is asked to rescue all sorts of wildlife.
He was called out to pick up the kestrel from the garden where it was found, and he thought that the bird looked thin.
"When I fed it, it ate straight away, it was so hungry," he said.
Now all involved are delighted that the Mitchells have finally been able to take Pepsi back under their wing.
Source: Anne O'Donaghue, Leighton Buzzard Observer, 9 January 2007