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‘A truly magnificent sight': bearded vulture seen in UK for second time

The species was spotted in the UK for the first time since 2016.

A “magnificent” bearded vulture has been spotted in the UK for the second time.

The bird was captured by photographers on Howden Moors, near Sheffield, on Sunday morning, with the species having only been seen once before in the UK in 2016.

“It’s a truly magnificent sight, to see Britain’s largest bird of prey in Yorkshire, and hundreds of birders from all over the country have made the journey,” William Bowell, a retail manager who watches and photographs birds as a hobby, told the PA news agency.

Mr Bowell said the bird was tracked through the West Midlands and Derbyshire, but nobody had “pinned it down” until the weekend.

Bearded vulture spotted in UK for second time
(William Bowell/justwildimages.blogspot.com/PA)

He said he was told of the bearded vulture’s location by another bird watcher, then walked for two hours to get to the remote location.

“He spotted it on Friday night so I went down on Saturday morning. I missed it by about 20 minutes, and went back on Sunday morning. I left home at half three in the morning,” Mr Bowell, who lives in south Lincolnshire, told PA.

“They were sublime views, I just never expected it. When we got there after missing it on Saturday it was elation.

“I never expected to get anything like those views, it was mind-blowing. Quite unexpected and quite remarkable.”

The bird is thought to have been wild-born from a population that was reintroduced into the wild in the Pyrenees.

Mr Bowell said he will not attempt to photograph the bird again while it stays in the area.

“I just don’t think I’ll be able to repeat it, so unless it roosts somewhere a bit more accessible… I’ll wait for the next rare bird to appear,” he told PA.

The bearded vulture has been classified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as being near threatened.

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