On ringing Mike to report this, he suggested contacting PBMS (Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme)
-a long-term, national monitoring scheme that quantifies the concentrations of contaminants in the livers and eggs of selected species of predatory and fish-eating birds in Britain. In the meantime, the bird could best be stored in our freezer!
This proved excellent advice - thanks Mike. A specially designed box, postage paid, arrived very quickly from PBMS, and we posted the owl off. Later on a post-mortem will be carried out and more than 100 observations will be made including sex, age and maturity of the bird. The information collected will be entered onto a database, and a copy of this information will be sent to us. The resulting information will be published and apparently informs Government policy.
The process was very straightforward and we look forward to possibly establishing the cause of the owl's death, as well as age, sex etc. The previous night had been very stormy, and may have been a contributory factor.
On a brighter note, the kestrel and water rail both showed well in Wednesday's morning sunshine, and interestingly the water rail was totally unperturbed by our puppy's barking at CART employees surveying nearby - it was only when I whispered to the dog to quieten him that the bird vanished fairly quickly!