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Rare glossy ibis spotted in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:08 06 July 2010

The Glossy Ibis

The Glossy Ibis

Birdwatchers in Norfolk have been urged to keep vigilant after a rare bird from southern Spain was seen in the county on the weekend.

Three Glossy Ibis were spotted in the grounds of the Roman fort at Caistor St Edmund, south of Norwich, and later in Stoke Holy Cross on Saturday.

Birdwatchers in Norfolk have been urged to keep vigilant after a rare bird from southern Spain was seen in the county on the weekend.

Three Glossy Ibis were spotted in the grounds of the Roman fort at Caistor St Edmund, south of Norwich, and later in Stoke Holy Cross on Saturday.

Reader Rob Wilson, 46, from Surlingham, took a photograph of the birds at Stoke Holy Cross.

He said: “I run a photographic wildlife business based in Norwich and was fortunate to see and photograph three Glossy Ibis which had been found at Caistor St Edmund on Saturday with one remaining at the site until Sunday morning.

“I have been birdwatching since 1985 and this was one of the birds I had on my list to tick off when they visited Norfolk. I had seen one before in Kent but never in Norfolk.”

An RSPB spokeswoman said more than 20 of the birds had been seen in various locations across the UK in the last few days.

She said: “As far as we know, these are the first to make an appearance in Norfolk and will, most certainly have come from southern Spain.

“Climate change will play a huge factor in these birds' movements and although they will only be visiting the UK, their sightings here are becoming more and more frequent.”

Paul Stancliffe, a spokesman for the British Trust for Ornithology, based at Thetford, which investigates the populations, movements and ecology of wild birds, said the birds would have come from the Mediterranean region.

He said: “We have been getting an influx of them at this time of year for several years.

“This year a large influx originally came into western Britain - Wales and Ireland. Then on Saturday they were seen at Caistor St Edmund.

“However, it's still very unusual and these birds remain very rare, however in future years they could become more frequent visitors to the UK. I would urge people to keep their eyes open in case they come again.”

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