THE RSPCA is appealing for information after three birds were found dead with suspected shot wounds on the Walton Backwaters.

The bodies of a pair of mute swans and a black-headed gull were all found floating by the side of the river by a passing boatsman on the evening of July 1. The birds were all covered in what appeared to be multiple shot wounds and had become caught in the bushes.

RSPCA inspector Sarah Elmy said it was unlikely the killings were accidental.

She said: “This feels like quite a sinister incident.

“The reports are that there were shot wounds all over the birds’ bodies – including the head.

“They were found drifting to the side of the water all together.

“It seems that someone must have gone out here to shoot birds with intent.

“The three dead birds were found too close to each other for this to be an accident, and these backwaters are not areas where people are likely to be just passing with a weapon.”

Anyone with information, or who saw what happened, is urged to contact the RSPCA on 03001 238018.