Just a quick post, as we though this would be of interest.

My wife spotted what she described as a very unusual bird by our pond this evening. She described it to me and we Googled until we found images of what she believed she saw.

We came across images of a Shoebill, and she is 100% sure this is what she saw. 

I noticed from our web search that this bird has very occasionally been spotted in the UK before.

We live on the outskirts of Alton (near to Alton Towers), in the Churnet Valley. 

I hope this is of interest. 

  • Definitely worth letting the nearest zoo know. Is there one nearby?
  • Having done a very brief search, it is likely no zoo has thrm in UK. In which case, a grey bird best to a fishpond in UK is going to be a grey heron. At this time of year, there are plenty about as immature birds are around, They are noticeably more grey than adults, so that would be the most likely. Are you missing a few fishes?
  • My wife says it was definitely not grey heron. She described it as having a large head and large fat beak. She instantly recognised pics of the Shoebill. Shoebills apparently have been spotted in UK before. One was seen and photographed in Rutland a couple of years ago. Perhaps some odd occurrence -coupled with all the hot weather.
  • In reply to Gary K:

    No. That was a plastic replica.
  • In reply to Gary K:

    Gary K said:
    One was seen and photographed in Rutland a couple of years ago

    That was a hoax. It was a plastic one used as a publicity stunt. See HERE



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