A MISSING peregrine falcon chick had New Milton’s bird-lovers in a flap after vanishing from its nest on the town’s water tower.
The fledgling had been rescued by volunteers last Wednesday evening after landing on the ground near the Grade II-listed structure in Osborne Road, which has hosted the protected birds annually for the past four years.
But after being placed on higher ground within the compound, it went missing after not being identified by its mother.
Sightings in the area led volunteers to believe the chick had an injured leg, with one resident in nearby Spencer Road describing seeing it “hobbling” around their garden.
New Milton Town Council shared a picture of the missing chick on its Facebook page last Friday afternoon, urging people to come forward if they saw it.
Spencer Road, Herbert Road, Lyon Road and York Avenue were covered in the search, as well as Osborne Road itself.
However, fears were allayed yesterday (Monday) evening after the chick returned to the nest seemingly none the worse for wear.
A post on the town council’s Facebook page announced: “Update on the missing peregrine youngster – now been spotted and photographed back at the tower! Big sigh of relief. Hooray!”
The same female falcon has nested at the tower since 2016 and this year found a new mate after its previous one disappeared last year. The latest clutch of four chicks is expected to fly the nest by August.