Scotland plays host to rare visitor

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The rare bird was spotted on the Hebridean island (Picture by Alex Boden)

A GROUP of rare wetland birds has been spotted on the isle of Eigg.

Six glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) have been seen. The glossy ibis is defined as a scarce visitor to the UK, but this winter has seen sporadic sightings in the North West and South West of England and South Wales.

The glossy ibis is a wader bird that feeds in very shallow water. The ibis nests in fresh water among reeds or rushes in areas with low trees and bushes.

The isle of Eigg is a Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve. It is famous for its community buyout in 1997 and the rich amount of wildlife

Commenting, John Chester, the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Ranger on the isle of Eigg said:

“Ibises are a very noteworthy species within the UK and especially here in west Scotland. As a first record for the island they have generated a lot of interest amongst the local people many of whom have been able to see the birds.

“We’re not sure as yet where these birds originated from, though it seems that it could be Spain or France. However as one of them is ringed we’ll hopefully be able to obtain more information on this.

“Why exactly they’ve turned up on Eigg, especially in such a wild & wet winter, is a real mystery but they certainly seem to be having no trouble finding food in the heavily flooded marshes.

“Hopefully they’ll continue to hang around for a while and are enjoying the Hebridean winter.”

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