A sighting of a very rare bird in Gloucester has got bird watchers all a flutter.
The bird, known as a penduline tit, has only been recorded once before in the Gloucestershire area since records began. Eagle eyed photographers posted images on Twitter over the weekend, ruffling some feathers.
Penduline tits tend to live throughout mainlaind Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Several species of the bird are migratory, which could explain how it has ended up visiting the city.
The last time the bird winged its way to Gloucester was back in January 2016 when it was spotted at the Horsbere Reserve. This time, our feathered friend was seen in the Plock Court wetland area over the weekend.
Plock Court is a 26 hectare site with sports facilities as well as open spaces popular with dog walkers, runners and kite fliers.
In 2010 a large wetland area was developed by Gloucester City Council to increase wildlife on the site and act as a flood prevention scheme for the surrounding area. This has helped to attract a wide array of insects, damselflies, dragonflies, birds and animals.
Some of the local birders who went to see the penduline tit weren’t aware of the site and expressed their admiration for the well maintained area.
Cllr Richard Cook, cabinet member for environment at Gloucester City Council said, “Once again Gloucester has been the stop off of choice for the penduline tit, almost two years after it last visited.
“We try to ensure we have a diverse environment suitable for a wide variety of wildlife, and I am delighted that we may attract some unusual species.
“It is very exciting to have such a rare bird visit the site less than a mile from the Gloucester Cross, and we hope to have flocks of bird watchers coming to have a gander.”
Mike Smart Honorary Chairman of the Gloucestershire Naturalists’ Society, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust trustee and local resident added: “This is an exceedingly rare bird that has only once ever before being recorded in Gloucestershire.
“The species has spectacular plumage and originates in central europe; it gets its name from its habit of hanging upside down on bulrushes on which it feeds.”
Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk