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Strange bird on the moat

By Sue Austin | Oswestry | News | Published:

Visitors to Whittington Castle are used to feeding the ducks and swans that live in its moat.

The African Sacred Ibis spotted at Whittington

But this weekend saw a bird with a difference made a fleeting visit.

Janet and Mark Norwood from the village were amazed when they saw the strange bird in the grounds of the castle and when they got home their research showed it was probably an African Sacred Ibis.

"We saw it feeding and we managed to get up close and personal with it," Mrs Norwood said.

"It even pecked my shoes and coat. We thinking it is a juvenile and that it might have escaped from somewhere."

The African Sacred Ibis breeds in Sub-Saharan Africa, southeastern Iraq, and formerly in Egypt, where it was venerated and often mummified as a symbol of the god Thoth.

It has also been introduced into southern Europe where it has become a predator, devastating breeding colonies of birds such as terns.

The castle moat is currently home to several families of ducks and ducklings, moorhen and their chicks.

In recent weeks three young swans appeared on the moat to join a loan swan that arrived in the spring.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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