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Birdwatchers' joy after rare white-tailed eagle seen at Stodmarsh near Canterbury

A birdwatcher described his 'dream come true' after spotting the UK's largest bird of prey in Kent.

Marc Heath took to Twitter to share his joy after seeing a white-tailed eagle at Stodmarsh, near Canterbury.

He tweeted: "Dreams do come true." And added: "A day I will never forget and a dream bird to see in the Stour Valley."

The eagle was seen yesterday morning and proved a popular draw for nature lovers.

Dean Macey tweeted: "Wasn't it marvellous."

Another twitter user, @mrs_patch, said: "Lots of people looking. Car park was crammed. Saw it getting mobbed by buzzards. Mahoosive!"

White-tailed eagles have a giant wingspan of more than 2 metres and are on the UK's conservation 'red list', meaning they are in severe decline.

A white-tailed eagle. Stock image: C Gomersall, RSPB
A white-tailed eagle. Stock image: C Gomersall, RSPB

They were once common across the south coast of England but are now rarely seen in Kent. The west of Scotland is where they are usually spotted.

However, six were released on the Isle of Wight in August 2019 in a five-year re-introduction programme and another seven were released on the island last year.

They wear trackers and one was seen to have flown hundreds of miles last year, including a circuit of Kent.

Escaped animals, unusual finds and news from the RSPCA can all be found here.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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