Extremely rare bird spotted at Belle Tout

Eastbourne amateur wildlife photographer Peter Brooks managed to snap this photo of a '˜very rare' bird at Belle Tout.

Friday, 7th April 2017, 10:41 am
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:27 pm
Blue Rock Thrush at Beachy Head, taken by Peter Brooks SUS-170704-103030001

Peter Brooks took the photo of the blue rock thrush on April 6.

The bird – Malta’s national bird – is a species of chat. It is a sun-loving bird and breeds in southern Europe, northwest Africa and central Asia. It nests in rock cavities and walls and usually lays three eggs. It eats a wide variety of insects and small reptiles, as well as berries and seeds.

Peter said, “This is a very rare bird to the UK and the first time one has been seen in Sussex, it is thought to be the same bird that has been seen in Gloucestershire, the bird in Gloucestershire is said to have generated a lot of money in tourism with people travelling from all over to see it.”

Last year the BBC reported that hundreds of birdwatchers had descended on an estate in the Cotswolds to catch a glimpse of a blue rock thrush.

County bird recorder Richard Baatsen said at the time he believed it was only the third time the bird had been spotted in the UK.

For more of Peter’s photography, see www.peterbrooksphotography.co.uk