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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 August 2007, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Bird watchers excited over gull
Audouin's Gull pic courtesy of www.grayimages.co.uk
"Elegant and pretty": the audouin's gull. Pic from www.grayimages.co.uk
A rare sighting of a bird has got bird watchers in Devon excited.

The RSPB says the appearance of the audouin's gull at Seaton Marshes on the the Axe Estuary is only the fourth recorded sighting in the UK.

Its natural habitat is the Mediterranean in the summer and North Africa during the winter.

It is thought the bird may have been caught up in the south westerly gales on Tuesday and could have been blown all the way to Seaton.

Fraser Rush, East Devon District Council's nature reserves officer, said: "There is absolutely no doubt this is an audouin's gull.

"It is similar to a herring gull but more elegant and pretty."

He added the gull was first spotted by a local bird watching expert, Steve Waite, and was later seen on a roof in the town.

It is not clear whether it will stay in the area for a few days or if it will head south straight away.

RSPB conservation officer Kevin Rylands said: "It is extremely unusual to see these birds, it's only the fourth time it's been recorded in the UK, so it's very difficult to tell why it's here.

"Sometimes these things are a one-off. Certainly people across the country are interested in it."

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