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Last Updated: Monday, 11 September 2006, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Surprise pelican crossing on Tay
River Tay pelican
The pelican was first spotted at the weekend
An attempt is to be made to catch a pelican which has mysteriously appeared at the mouth of the River Tay.

The bird was first spotted at the weekend amid a flotilla of swans in the Tay Estuary, but experts said it needed to be captured for its own good.

Passers-by noticed the white pelican off the beach near Monifieth among a group of about 50 swans, which are regularly in the area.

The Scottish SPCA is now drawing up an action plan to catch the bird.

The animal welfare organisation said it also wanted to find out where the bird had come from.

We really are well and truly gobsmacked by the arrival of this wonderful bird
Bob McCurley
Local birder

The white pelican, native to south east Europe, Asia and Africa, may have difficulty surviving in Scotland and adapting to the climate.

Laura Higgins, of the Scottish SPCA, said the case was the most unusual job she had faced in her eight years as a senior inspector in the Dundee area.

"The problem we have with this bird being here is that he's not a native bird to the Scottish coastline, in fact he's not a native bird to Britain," she said.

"We really have to make an attempt to try and capture him and he'll have to be looked after in a special centre."

'Unusual bird'

Inspectors are now formulating their rescue plan and in the meantime have asked members of the public who have flocked to get a glimpse of the pelican not to try and catch it themselves.

One observer, local birder Bob McCurley, said: "We really are well and truly gobsmacked by the arrival of this wonderful bird.

"We expect to see unusual birds at this time of year, but never something as unusual as the pelican."

A pelican was caught in Aberdeen several years ago after it escaped from a sanctuary on the Isle of Man.

On that occasion the bird took three days to catch.

Pelican makes Lancashire his home
23 Aug 06 |  Lancashire
Riddle of crash-landing pelican
27 Dec 01 |  England

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