Extremely rare squacco heron spotted at Welney reserve

An extremely rare bird which usually spends the summer in southern Europe has been delighting visitors at a Fenland nature reserve.

The squacco heron arrived at WWT Welney over the weekend and bird enthusiasts have flocked to the reserve to try and catch a glimpse of the unexpected visitor.

It is not known why the bird has appeared in the UK, with squacco herons usually breeding in eastern Europe.

Warden Steve Wiltshire said: 'It is always exciting to see a rarity on site but this particular individual is a very striking bird in its full breeding plumage.

'The breezy weather over the weekend meant that the plume of feathers on the back of the neck has been in full flow.

'The bird has been making itself at home in the shallow flooded washes in full view of our reedbed hide and seems quite content fishing in the ditches among all the other birds'.

WWT Welney is open seven days a week from 9.30am to 5.00pm during the summer.

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To check on the latest status of the heron and all the other sightings, click on www.wwt.org.uk/welney.

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