Rare vulture spotted in Sheffield is only second sighting in UK history

A rare vulture spotted in the skies in the Peak District near Sheffield has only been spotted in the UK once before.

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 6:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 6:37 pm

Birdwatchers have been flocking to the Hope Valley to catch a glimpse of the bearded vulture after it was first spotted over Howden Moor last week.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, which is monitoring the bird, said: "This is the first time that this amazing species has been seen in Derbyshire and only the second time on record that the species has been sighted in the UK ever.

“This amazing bird is a two year old bearded vulture from a reintroduction programme in the Alps, these birds wander long distances but usually return to places of origin.

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The rare bird was sighted over Howden Moor. (Photo: Indy Greene/DWT)

“It was seen in Belgium and then, on June 26, the same bird was photographed by a birdwatcher in the West Midlands.

“An hour later someone driving along the A50 at Scropton in South Derbyshire saw it fly overhead and five days later it was seen and photographed near Edale by Alan Kydd a birder from Hathersage.”

It is currently in a remote area owned by The National Trust in North Derbyshire.

They mainly eat bones for the marrow inside from carcasses where the meat has already been eaten by foxes, eagles or other vulture species.

The bearded vulture has an impressive wingspan of 2.8 metres – larger than a golden eagle.

They remain common in Africa and the Indian subcontinent, and in the 1980s they were successfully reintroduced to the French Alps.