UPDATE: More sightings of rare Egyptian vulture over Norfolk
14:21 17 October 2012
The online community is all of a twitter over the reported sighting of a rare Egyptian vulture over north Norfolk.
A rare Egyptian vulture seen flying over north Norfolk has been causing a stir amongst wildlife watchers.
The Twitter community has been abuzz with sightings of the spectacular animal, with the first reported at around lunchtime today.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust is the latest to see the unusual visitor. @SupportNWT tweeted shortly before 3pm, “It’s just flown over Cley Marshes. Great views from the visitor centre. Even without binoculars it’s the size of a small shed.”
The massive bird was also spotted at Wells, Stiffkey and in flight above the A149 at Morston at 1.22pm today.
Twitter user @rbnUK was the first to tweet the sighting, which has been rapidly re-tweeted by fellow twitchers.
Another Twitter user @Rarevine said an immature Egyptian vulture with a bell on its leg had recently escaped in Wales and had since been seen in Cornwall.
The vulture, which has a wing span of up to 170cm, is not a native of Great Britain and is normally found in warmer climes, including southern Europe, North Africa and southwestern Asia. One was last seen in Norfolk in April 2007 in East Barsham, Warham and Scoulton.
Egyptian vultures feed on a range of food including mammal faeces, insects in dung, carrion as well as vegetable matter and small live prey. They are usually silent but make high-pitched mewing or hissing sounds near their nesting sites. They prefer dry plains and are often seen soaring in thermals.