The eagle has landed ... in Leighton?


There have been two possible sightings in Leighton of a missing golden eagle capable of hunting cats .

The bird of prey called Norman took flight on Friday, January 9 after escaping from falconer Allen Smith.

Possible sighting of the eagle at the foot of a tree at the rear of Phoenix Close, Leighton Buzzard

Possible sighting of the eagle at the foot of a tree at the rear of Phoenix Close, Leighton Buzzard

Two Leighton Buzzard residents have now contacted the LBO with suspected sightings.

Anita Scott, who sent us the small photo, said: “I believe we saw the eagle at the back of Phoenix Close during most of Saturday, January 10.

“We heard a strange bird call first and then saw the bird shortly after that. We first noticed it around 11am perched in the trees. It was there for most of the day.

“We have open farm land at the back of us and every now and then it would swoop down as if trying to catch something.

“We didn’t get a great close up view, and it could have been a buzzard, but the eagle call on Google matches that of the bird we were watching at the weekend. We haven’t seen it since.”

She added: “The picture isn’t great but it’s definitely some kind of bird of prey and not something we’ve seen before.”

And after seeing yesterday’s online story about Norman’s escape, Sarah Warner said: “I thought I saw an eagle last Saturday morning driving down Eastern Way, turns out it could have been!”

Mr Smith had loaned the eagle, with a 6ft wingspan, and took him to his workplace in Flitwick when he went missing.

A number of other sightings have been made across Bedfordshire and police have been informed.

Mr Smith, from Lidlington, said Norman was a magnificent bird but added that he could “go for a cat” if he became really hungry.

His daughter Mel, 40, added that Norman shouldn’t get hungry for about three weeks and said they hoped to find him before he does attack any pets.

Three-year-old Norman stands roughly 3ft tall and weighs 10lbs and can be easily identified by the leather straps dangling from his feet.