Page last updated at 06:51 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 07:51 UK

Egrets? Nature reserve has a few

White egret (Picture courtesy of David Parnaby)
It is the first time two of the birds have been seen in Scotland

A rare bird has made an unprecedented double appearance at a nature reserve near Crimond in Aberdeenshire.

A great white egret appeared at the RSPB's Loch of Strathbeg reserve on Monday, only the seventh to have been spotted in the north east of Scotland.

The following day another great white egret arrived at the reserve, making it the first time two of the birds have been seen together in Scotland.

The great white egret is a large species of heron, with white plumage.

Its nearest breeding colonies are in the Netherlands and it is thought the birds were probably carried across the North Sea on the recent easterly winds.

RSPB Scotland's David Parnaby said: "We have been carrying out a huge amount of work to improve the habitat for wetland birds at the reserve in the last couple of years, so it is no surprise that many unusual birds call into the site."

The Loch of Strathbeg reserve is also currently playing host to a little egret, a smaller member of the heron family, which has been present since Christmas Eve.

Mr Parnaby added, "The little egret is a scarce spring migrant to north east Scotland, so to have one spend the winter here is unheard of.

"The fact that you can now watch it feeding in the same pools as a great white egret is an incredibly rare occurrence in Scotland.

"I hope these birds will stay around and give people the chance to see them, although there is always something to see at the reserve."

Twitchers flock to see rare heron
03 Dec 07 |  Manchester
Egret graces new wetlands project
19 Oct 07 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Rare egret spotted in marshland
17 Sep 07 |  Manchester
Birds of a feather
17 Nov 06 |  Magazine

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific