Tayside and Central Scotland

Rare spoonbills seen at Montrose bird reserve

Image caption Three of the birds have been seen at the Montrose reserve

Three rare wader birds have been spotted at a bird reserve in Angus.

The "striking" spoonbills were seen at the Scottish Wildlife Trust's (SWT) Montrose Basin Reserve.

There are only about 75 sightings a year of the bird in the UK - and the trust said they had never been spotted at the Montrose reserve before.

Spoonbills have a long black flattened bill, which resembles a spoon at the tip. The species is a European conservation concern.

SWT Perthshire ranger Anna Cheshier said it was a rare opportunity for bird-watchers to see an "unusual visitor" to the UK.

"The spoonbill is unmistakable. It really stands out at Montrose Basin and we have been watching them carefully since the first sighting on the 28 June," she said.

"I have never seen more than one spoonbill at Montrose Basin so it is great news to see a group."

The group has been at the basin for over a week and Ms Cheshier said rangers hoped they would stay for a while.

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