Buzzard found near Downham Market ‘was not shot’

A buzzard in flight. Photo:: Dina Wright/

A buzzard in flight. Photo:: Dina Wright/ - Credit:

A buzzard found dead in the West Norfolk Fens was not shot.

The dead buzzard. Picture: Susan Simper

The dead buzzard. Picture: Susan Simper - Credit: Archant

A gardener believed he saw a man shoot the protected bird of prey at Boughton, near Downham Market on Tuesday lunchtime.

It came down near the home of retired insurance broker Paul Coulten, 77, who preserved the carcass until it could be examined by police wildlife crime officers.

But this afternoon, police tweeted: 'Norfolk police are aware of allegations of two buzzards being shot on some land in Boughton this week.

'Officers have attended and the birds have been independently x-rayed. These investigations have established there is no evidence of them being shot.'

Buzzards are one of our commonest birds of prey. They are frequently seen soaring on their large, broad wings, when warm rising air creates convection currents over woods and farmland.

The species is protected by the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. Anyone convicted of killing one could face an unlimited fine and up to six months' imprisonment.