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WATCH: Bird watching family astounded by rare sight over Ipswich garden

PUBLISHED: 16:30 20 April 2020

The white-tailed eagle is a rare sight in our skies Picture: ELLIE ZANTBOER

The white-tailed eagle is a rare sight in our skies Picture: ELLIE ZANTBOER

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A family in Ipswich were astounded after they spotted a rare bird circling their garden.

The Zantboer family were surprised by the appearance of the bird Picture: JUSTIN ZANTBOERThe Zantboer family were surprised by the appearance of the bird Picture: JUSTIN ZANTBOER

Justin Zantboer, 48, spotted the rare bird, a white-tailed eagle – which has a wingspan of 2.4 metres – flying over his home in Ipswich.

“A sight like that in Suffolk is rare,” said Mr Zantboer.

“It gets everyone excited.”

The white tailed eagle was once a native bird to the UK and the country’s largest bird of prey, but it was driven to extinction through persecution.

The white-tailed eagle making its way around Ipswich Picture: ELLIE ZANTBOERThe white-tailed eagle making its way around Ipswich Picture: ELLIE ZANTBOER

The eagle seen by Mr Zantboer is part of a special re-introduction scheme on the Isle of Wight.

The bird, known as G324, is a female and recently spent a few days circling up and down the coast of East Anglia, making it as far north as the northern fringes of Norfolk before heading back south.

It was only by chance that Mr Zantboer, a keen bird watcher, was able to spot the special sight coming over his garden.

“By sheer luck it came over our house,” said Mr Zantboer.

“I heard the binmen go and went to change the bins, but then I saw this thing coming over.

“It was amazing.”

Although Mr Zantboer has seen a white tailed eagle before, some 20 years ago, for his children, 16-year-old Ellie and his 12-year-old Daniel, it was a new and special sighting.

“My daughter had not seen one before so she was really interested in it,” said Mr Zantboer.

Ellie, has also been a keen bird watcher for most of her life too and spends time with her father helping to ring birds for conservation purposes.

Daniel too is also starting to take up an interest in ornithology.

Bird watching have been a lifelong passion for Mr Zantboer.

“My grandparents got me into it, from about the age of four or five,” said Mr Zantboer.


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