'The worst day in pigeon racing history': Thousands of North East birds vanish during race

  • Video report by Helen Carnell

Thousands of racing pigeons are still missing a week after they set off on their return journey to the North East.

Around ten thousand left Peterborough last Saturday on what should have been a three hour flight.

It's mystified and upset owners who wonder if a change in atmospheric conditions are to blame.

Among those who has lost pigeons is Shaun Wellings from Gosforth.

Credit: Tyne Tees

Three of his birds went missing last Saturday when 250 thousand birds were released in some 50 races across Britain. Just 10 percent returned  

Many of the pigeons that did make their way home, returned with unexplained injuries such as gashes to their chests.

It's thought some lost their way, landing in Portugal and Spain, thousands of miles adrift.

It's thought that a solar storm above the clouds could be behind the mysterious series of events. Fanciers believe it could have disoriented the birds, causing them to lose their way.

Shaun hopes with the help of the general public, they will eventually return.