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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Egret graces new wetlands project
Great white egret
The rare visitor stayed for three days
A rare bird has made an appearance at a newly-created wetland site near the River Leam in Rugby.

A great white egret was spotted by farmer Stuart Russell.

Only a handful of sightings have ever been recorded in Warwickshire. Most egrets have only stayed for one day but this visit lasted for three days.

Although the species has not yet bred in the UK, more have been recorded in the Midlands in recent years, possibly due to warmer winters.

Mr Russell said: "I first saw the bird early in the morning and couldn't quite believe my eyes.

"We've had some nice visitors already including osprey in the spring this year, and avocet shortly afterwards, but I was glad to get verification that it was indeed a great white egret and not just an albino heron."

The wetland site, near Draycote Water, was created under a scheme run by Natural England.

The land was previously used for crops but was regularly flooded.

Natural England adviser Matt Willmott said: "This year, eight pairs of lapwing bred adjacent to the wetland and used the area for feeding chicks, while more than twenty yellow wagtails were counted on the site in late summer, indicating considerable breeding success."

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