An extremely rare species of duck was spotted near Inch Island in Co. Donegal this week.
Amateur birdwatcher, Edward McElhinney from Derry, spotted a male Smew whilst bird watching near Farland Bank Hide at Inch Wildfowl Reserve on Tuesday afternoon.
“I couldn’t believe it - I’ve seen photos of Smews but I never thought I would see one on my doorstep,” said Edward.
Smews are native to countries such as Russia, China, Sweden and Finland but they winter in central Europe.
A Smew has been spotted near Inch Island before but according to bird expert, Dick Coombes from BirdWatch Ireland, the sight of Smew in Irish water is an extremely rare occurrence.
“It’d be a good year if five or six Smews visited the entire island of Ireland,” confirmed Dick.
“The bird is extremely rare but BirdWatch Ireland has recorded sightings of the bird near Inch in Donegal before.
“The male bird is absolutely stunning and it’s great to hear that another one has been spotted in Donegal again. What we tend to find is that repeated sightings of a particular bird tend to mean they are returning to the same place each year.”