Rare bird spotted at Fife park

Santa Claus wasn’t the only recent visitor to Glenrothes as an even rarer guest flew into town.

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 10:44 am
A great white egret at Riverside Park, Glenrothes
A great white egret at Riverside Park, Glenrothes

The great white egret is a member of the heron family found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe.

According to the RSPB every year around 35 birds make their winter home in the UK, most frequently in south-east England and East Anglia.

Sightings are made up the eastern coast of Scotland between Crail and Fraserburgh, however, one intrepid member of the species decided to head much further inland.

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Glenrothes dog walker Steve Ledger was in Riverside Park when he spotted a great white egret by the River Leven.

Steve, who photographs wildlife as a hobby, says the bird appeared to be in good health and managed to grab a picture before it flew off.

Steve said: “They have been seen at Guardbridge and Montrose Basin and I have seen one at Kinnordy Loch, but are a very rare sight in our town.

“It was by the River Leven and may have flown down to the town pond which is popular with all sorts of birds in winter.

“It has two swans on it, we get heron, cormorants and goosanders and once I saw a male Mandarin duck which was amazing because of its colours.”

The RSPB initially presumed it was a more common little egret that had made its way to Glenrothes. However, after being shown Steve’s photographs confirmed it was a great white egret.

A spokeswoman said: “Great white egrets are less uncommon than they once were, and one of my colleagues was recently alerted to one in that area, but it’s still a somewhat unusual spot.”