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Pub worker’s devastation as Kevin the buzzard dies

PUBLISHED: 05:30 08 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:27 08 September 2020

Liam Aston, 22, and Taylor Franklin, staff at the Ranworth Maltsters, found an injured common buzzard. Picture: Liam Aston

Liam Aston, 22, and Taylor Franklin, staff at the Ranworth Maltsters, found an injured common buzzard. Picture: Liam Aston

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Two pub workers who stayed by the side of an injured bird of prey named Kevin have said they are heartbroken by his death.

Kevin the common buzzard sadly passed away after being rescused. Picture: Kevin MurphyKevin the common buzzard sadly passed away after being rescused. Picture: Kevin Murphy

A customer at the Ranworth Maltsers pub on the Broads alerted Liam Aston, from Acle, and Taylor Franklin, to a bird fighting for life on Sunday.

The pair rushed to Farm Lane, expecting to find a “standard pigeon or blackbird”, but were shocked to find something much larger.

Mr Aston, a pizza chef at the pub, said: “As we went over to the bird it hopped over the hedge, but we realised it was a bird of prey as it was about the size of three pigeons on top of each other.

“We then couldn’t find the bird so I was making weird bird noises to try and make it come out.”

Kevin Murphy, Norfolk Wildlife Rescue, pictured at Bacton cliffs. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodKevin Murphy, Norfolk Wildlife Rescue, pictured at Bacton cliffs. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

The 22-year-old found the bird in a nearby field and, believing it was a kestrel, named it Kevin.

Mr Aston said: “We thought that Kevin would be a cool name for a kestrel and it was the first thing that popped into our heads.

“Kevin literally just sat in the field and stared at us. We actually thought he had died but then realised he couldn’t have passed away because he wasn’t on the floor.

“We thought he had injured his wing as he was trying to fly but instead was hopping along.”

Kevin the common buzzard sadly passed away after being rescused. Picture: Kevin MurphyKevin the common buzzard sadly passed away after being rescused. Picture: Kevin Murphy

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After contacting Norfolk Wildlife Rescue, the duo spent an hour talking to Kevin until help arrived.

Mr Aston said: “We were worried that he would hop in front of a car so stayed with him. We waited for about an hour until the rescuer came.

“We spent that time talking to Kevin, asking him how he was doing and telling him that help was on the way. He didn’t speak to us.

Liam Aston, 22, and Taylor Franklin, staff at the Ranworth Maltsters, found an injured common buzzard. Picture: Liam AstonLiam Aston, 22, and Taylor Franklin, staff at the Ranworth Maltsters, found an injured common buzzard. Picture: Liam Aston

“I bet cyclists on the other side of the hedge wondered what was going on.”

Kevin Murphy, from Norfolk Wildlife Rescue, identified Kevin as a common buzzard and took him home to wait for a vet’s appointment the following day.

But sadly Kevin the buzzard died in the early hours of the morning.

Mr Murphy said: “I couldn’t tell the pair how much I appreciated them staying with the bird and it is very sad he has passed away.”

Mr Aston said: “I’m upset and feel like I want to cry. At least he enjoyed his last hours with us. I wish him the best in bird heaven and hope I can save some more birds soon.”


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