Rare exotic bird spotted in Fife garden

The bird was spotted by Bruce Herschell. Pic: Bruce Herschell/SWNS.
The bird was spotted by Bruce Herschell. Pic: Bruce Herschell/SWNS.

A rare exotic bird believed to be extinct in the British wild has been caught on camera - wandering around a garden.

The Lady Amherst’s pheasant was introduced to the UK from China in the 19th century but there have been no reported sightings of the bird since 2015.

Bruce Herschell (56) was stunned when he spotted the dazzling bird on his garden fence, in St Andrews.

Bruce was looking out his kitchen window on Sunday, when he saw the colourful bird, which has incredible silvery tail plumes and decorative head markings.

He shared the picture on social media, with other locals claiming to have spotted the bird around town. Some people said the bird may have escaped from captivity.

Bruce said: “I was looking out of my kitchen window and I saw the bird sitting under the tree. I looked at it and thought it was a strange looking bird.

“I sneaked up on it and took a picture. Apparently it has been around St Andrews recently. Some people say it has escaped from captivity and others say it is extinct. But that’s for them to decide.

“I just think it’s a beautiful bird and its colours are incredible. I’m so happy that I spotted it. It feels good to have spotted something rare.”

The birds are named after Sarah Countess Amherst, wife of the Governor General of Bengal William Pitt Amherst, who sent the first specimen back to London in 1828. She first introduced the ornamental pheasant on her estates.