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Twitcher’s excitement over sighting of rare bird

PUBLISHED: 07:58 05 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:20 05 June 2020

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A nature lover has spoken of his excitement after spotting a fairly rare bird in his garden during lockdown.

Paul Nunn, 52, from Ashtree Road in New Costessey, spotted the blackbird which has a black body and white head several times over one week.

Mr Nunn, who is a lifelong birdwatcher, said: “This sighting was pretty exciting. It was a pretty cool-looking bird.”

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Paul Stancliffe, media manager for the Thetford-based British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), said the bird was most likely a leucistic blackbird which is when some of the feathers turn white.

MORE: ‘One in a year’ albino blackbird spotted in family’s front garden

He said the BTO’s Garden BirdWatch team receives 268 reports, on average per year, of blackbirds showing leucism, against a population estimate of around 11 million blackbirds in the UK.

So far in 2020 the team has received 166 reports of leucistic blackbirds in the UK.

Mr Stancliffe said: “If the reporting rate carries on like this, 2020 could be a record year - possibly a result of more people spending more time watching the wildlife in their gardens as a result of lockdown.”


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