Bearded vulture spotted in the Peak District

By David Pittam
BBC News, East Midlands

Image source, Indy Kiemel Greene
Image caption,
It is believed to be only the second time the bird has been seen in the UK

One of the largest wild birds ever seen in the UK has been seen roosting in the Peak District National Park.

The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said it was only the second time a bearded vulture had been seen in the UK.

Birdwatchers flocked to the moors to catch a glimpse and a photograph of the rare raptor, which is larger than a golden eagle.

Indy Kiemel Greene, who photographed the bird, said he was so overwhelmed by the sight he "almost fainted".

The 15-year-old said he had woken up at 02:00 BST on Sunday to be driven for an hour-and-a-half and he then hiked for another 90 minutes to get to where the bird, also known as a lammergeier, was spotted.

"It was absolutely unforgettable," he said.

"There were about 100 people watching it and we were all so pleased. When I saw it I almost dropped my camera.

"We watched it for five hours and it was so chill. It was definitely worth it."

Image source, Indy Kiemel Greene
Image caption,
Indy said he met birdwatchers from all over the UK trying to see the bird

Pete Garrity, 58, also woke up early in the morning to get to Howden Moor near Sheffield.

He said: "It's a unique experience to see a bird like that in this country. It was very exciting - it made my mouth go dry."

Image source, Pete Garrity
Image caption,
Experts believe the bird, more used to the Alps, may have ended up on the Derbyshire and Yorkshire border after being caught up in bad weather

Tim Birch, from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said the bird was about two years old and had flown over to the UK from the Alps, where the endangered species is being reintroduced.

He said it scavenged bones and despite its size - the full-grown bird boasts an almost 3m wingspan - it was not dangerous to people or farm animals.

He added the only other of its kind ever seen in the UK was in 2016, around Dartmoor.

"It's incredibly rare and so impressive," he said.

"It's without a doubt one of the biggest birds ever seen in the wild here."

Image source, Jono Leadley - @birdingdad
Image caption,
Mr Birch said the bird had been in the Hope and Edale Valley of the Peak District for about a week

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