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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Pelican makes Lancashire his home
Bill the pelican on the River Ribble
Experts think Bill has travelled across Europe
A Great White pelican has abandoned its usual sunny climes for a new home on a river in Lancashire.

The bird, called "Bill" by local birdwatchers and anglers, is thought to have escaped from a private collection or zoo in Europe.

It has been spotted feeding along the River Ribble near Preston.

Experts believe Bill is the same bird which was first spotted in Germany last month and has travelled north via Holland, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

Fish feeding

Tony Disley, ornithologist, said: "It's an incredible sight."

Normally found in the Mediterranean, white pelicans are among the largest of flying birds.

Bigger than swans and with a maximum lifespan of 27 years, they are able to fly a whole day and night without stopping, covering a distance of about 300 miles (483km).

They usually choose large freshwater lakes to feed mainly on fish, using their pouch to scoop up several litres of water.


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