As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 12 August 2019

A rare 'one in a million' albino magpie is living in a Croydon garden

The white bird has been spotted by homeowners in Shirley

Sam Truelove Senior reporter
16:01, 24 JUL 2019
UPDATED17:38, 24 JUL 2019

A rare albino magpie is thought to be living in Croydon due to it regularly being spotted in residents' gardens.

The white bird, believed to be "one in a million", has been spotted by homeowners in Pinewood Close, Shirley .

Martyn Burnley first saw the rare specimen around five weeks ago, and the 66-year-old says he has seen it every day since.

"It's around all of the time," the semi-retired financial director said.

"It comes out in the mornings and evenings and it seems to have happily bedded in with a family of normal magpies."

The albino magpie is often spotted in gardens of homes on Pinewood Close, as well as in nearby woodland.

Mr Burnley, who believes the bird has a black and white mate, initially thought it could have been a dove.

"We saw that it was a white bird and we all thought it was a dove at first," he said.

"When it appeared in the garden I managed to take a photograph. One of the cats was about to pounce before I pictured it on the lawn.

"We were told it has the tail of a magpie and realised it must be one due to it is always playing with other magpies."

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