THIS is not the kind of bird that watchers at Rutland Water Nature Reserve expected to see when they dropped in for a visit on Monday, but they did.
Fiona the flamingo was spotted by a volunteer at Rutland Water Nature Reserve in Egleton at about 2pm when she waded into lagoon one.
After the initial shock of seeing the bright pin bird, staff at the reserve immediately started to investigate where the she could have come from.
Education officer Will Kirstein, who writes a regular column for the Mercury, said: “To start with we were not really sure what was going on.
“The bird had a ring on its leg and we soon discovered that she is called Fiona and she escaped from a zoo in Hampshire at Christmas.”
Fiona has been spotted in Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire since then and made her latest stop in Rutland.
Flamingos usually live in colonies in parts of Africa, Asia and South America and the owners of the zoo are hoping Fiona will find another one to join at a zoo or nature reserve in England, giving them a chance to catch her.
Will said: “If she had been a wild bird it would have been a very important sighting, but as it is I don’t think Fiona will get the twitchers twitching.
“But as she is ringed I don’t think they will flock to see her.
“She is obviously fending for herself very well and is enjoying touring the country.”
Fiona has not been spotted at Rutland Water since Monday.
Photo by Matthew Berriman