The vulture is known for being able to use tools to build its nest or break ostrich eggs (Picture: Getty Images)
An Egyptian vulture which has not been seen in the UK since 1868 has been spotted on the Isles of Scilly.
The bird is usually found in southern Europe, northern Africa and areas in Asia. Experts believe it got confused and flew from France to Scilly, where bird watchers pictured it on Monday.
After the news spread, other bird enthusiasts rushed to the Isles on Tuesday to try and see the rare animal themselves.
Wildlife walking tour guide Will Wagstaff noticed a big bird flying in the fog but ‘was not expecting an Egyptian Vulture to appear out of the mist over [his] head’.
He said he was thankful the bird sat on a branch for long enough for him to picture it.
‘What a bird!’ he added.
Although it is not yet confirmed that the bird is wild – rather than an escaped captive one – Mr Wagstaff said he did not see ‘any rings or jesses’.
Someone joked that this Egyptian vulture looks ‘better than the last one’, referring to the last time one was spotted in this country in 1868 – when it was shot by a farmer in Essex.
Dubbed ‘the pharaoh’s chicken’, the bird has mythological associations in ancient Egypt and was often portrayed on hieroglyphs.
The bird is also considered rare in any of its native countries, where poisoning, poaching, electrocution and human disturbance threaten the species.
The vulture is believed to be one of several species in the world which has started using tools of some kind to adapt.
People have seen it using twigs to gather materials for its nests and rocks to smash open ostrich eggs.
Conservation officer Scott Reid, who photographed the vulture flying, said: ‘An exceptionally cool bird in flight, a very surreal moment seeing it in Scillonian air space!’
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