Wing the bells for ar­rival of al­ba­tross

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kent Business Update -

There has been much ex­cite­ment in the UK bird­ing world in the last cou­ple of weeks af­ter an adult black browed al­ba­tross ap­peared among the gan­net colony at Bemp­ton Cliffs RSPB re­serve in York­shire. This fan­tas­tic bird has been tour­ing the North Sea for the last few sum­mers, spend­ing most of the time on a Ger­man is­land in the North Sea off Den­mark. It turned up on the Mins­mere RSPB re­serve in Suf­folk in the sum­mer on a small lake dur­ing a thun­der­storm a few years ago, then flew back to sea shortly after­wards. Al­ba­tross species breed in the South At­lantic and the black browed va­ri­ety is an oc­ca­sional UK vis­i­tor. It has a black brow, pale or­ange bill, black wings and white body and un­der­wing. The wing­span is around 2.5 m. This York­shire visit was short­lived and it flew up the East coast of Eng­land to south of Scot­land the next day. The only al­ba­tross I have seen in the UK was in Dun­geness in 2001. It was there for just enough time for me to jump out of bed and drive down from Lit­tle­stone in my slippers and run to the sea­watch­ing hide.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Owen Leyshon, Rom­ney Marsh Coun­try­side Part­ner­ship, tele­phone 01797 367934 or visit www.rmcp.co.uk

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