Horror has come to Windsor's river scene once again - as four swans were shot in one morning, causing lethal injuries.

Brutal attacks on swans have become increasingly frequent in and around the town. But Tuesday morning set a new low, as volunteer rescuers were called out again and again starting from 7.30am.

The attacks all occurred in Barry Avenue - three probably involving an airgun and one a larger weapon.

All were taken to the Alma Veterinary Hospital in the town. One was only a cygnet and was so badly injured it had to be put down after a marble sized ball bearing was found in its head.

Another suffered a fractured eye socket and one had to be operated on Wednesday.

Two of the swans were being cared for by the charity Swan Support at its centre in Horton Road, Datchet this week. The surviving birds all lost the sight in one eye.

Swan Support's treatment and rescue co-ordinator Wendy Hermon said the two being cared for at the centre were being kept on drips.

Mrs Hermon and her dedicated team are regularly called out to help sick or trapped swans. But they are being increasingly needed to help birds who have been deliberately injured.

She said: "The bullets were still embedded in two of the swans we helped this week, one had bounced off the eye socket of another and one went straight through the other."

After rescuing so many deliberately injured swans in recent months Mrs Hermon is no longer surprised by anything.

She said: "It makes me more angry than upset now. Why do they do it?"

It is only a month since a swan was found battered to death in Barry Avenue. A month before that three birds were shot on the same stretch of river.

PC Ian Whitlock - police wildlife liaison officer - has warned that such attacks are criminal offences.

Anyone who can help police with information about any attacks on river birds can contact 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.