Lee Gallagher, a traffic warden from the Wirral, became an unlikely hero when he rescued a distressed peregrine falcon.
The traffic warden and keen bird enthusiast was patrolling in Merseyside during a torrential downpour when he spotted the bird in the middle of the road. He approached the bird and discovered that it was dazed and needed help.
Mr Gallagher said: “I am used to handling birds so knew how to approach with my jacket as a shield, but I was very surprised the falcon didn’t try to peck me or attack in any way. It was as if he knew I was there to save him and just stayed in my arms until I got him to the car and then let me stroke the back of his head.
“It looked very confused out there in the road, and I think the bird may have hit a wall and fallen due to the fierce rain, which was almost horizontal.”
He took the injured bird to the Stapeley Grange wildlife centre, near Nantwich, in Cheshire where it stayed for a month while it recovered. The falcon was checked for broken wings or limbs, then fed and cared for by staff.
The bird was released into the wild by Lee and RSPCA staff on New Year’s Day.
Andrew Smith, from RSPCA Stapeley Grange, said: “It is fantastic that Lee didn’t get into a flap when he found this bird and had the calm of mind to pick it up and bring it to us.”