BIRDWATCHERS have been flocking to Royton to catch a glimpse of a heron-like bird rarely seen in the borough of Oldham.
James Walsh, also known as the Mancunian Birder, recently spotted three Great Egrets along Thornham Old Road between the Summit Inn and the Tandle Hill Tavern.
Author of a new book Birding Oldham, James was birdwatching at Tandle Hill Country Park when he saw one of the egrets.
“I first caught a glimpse from the monument viewpoint,” he explained.
“I then walked to investigate and was surprised to see there were three.
“Seeing just one is exceptionally rare in the Oldham borough and this is probably the first time three have been seen together in Greater Manchester.
“It is just the second time ever this species has been seen in the Oldham borough. One was present at Daisy Nook Country Park in September 2017.”
The Great Egret is usually associated with exotic locations such as the River Nile or South-East Europe.
However, it has begun to colonise the UK and the first recorded breeding was on the Somerset Levels in 2012.James added: “The first time I saw one in England I travelled to the Midlands in the 1990s to see one on a reservoir that was keeping company with a Flamingo.”
James has just published the new book Birding Oldham online and it is available as an e-book from Oldham Library.
“I have worked with Oldham Council to produce a book that shows the local environment from a new, fresh perspective, to encourage people to visit the Oldham borough to enjoy birdwatching among our amazing scenery,” he explained.
Find out more online https://mancunianbirder.wordpress.com/2019/10/10/birding-oldham-e-book-now-online/