A West Row man has been reunited with his prized bird of prey which went missing eight years ago.
Darren Hart had lost hope of finding his beloved Goshawk, Ronnie, after it disappeared during some pest control work in 2009.
Ronnie, named after snooker player, Ronnie O’Sullivan was purchased from a breeder in Somerset and after training him Mr Hart realised he had a special bird.
The falconer’s experience of 20 years though could not help him find the six-month- old bird when the signal on Ronnie’s transmitter failed to emit a signal as he flew into the wild.
Mr Hart said: “I looked for six weeks trying to find him. I was devastated at losing such a great bird.”
Then at the beginning of July, Mr Hart received a very unexpected phone call.
An estate seven miles from where Ronnie had initially gone missing had found him and after checking the ring on his leg called the breeder in Somerset and was able to tell Mr Hart the good news.
He said; “I can not believe after eight years he is back, I thought he had died.
“I thought it must be a wild one they had found, but it just shows you how they can adapt and are the apex predator in the forest.”
Goshawks were close to decimation near the end of the 19th century due to their persecution and habitat loss.
Groups like the British Trust for Ornithology have helped the species with their programmes of research in the Brecklands, particularly in Thetford Forest, where they investigate breeding, habitats as well as studying the bird’s movements.