A Red kite has been spotted soaring in the skies over Co Antrim, just days after the RSPB announced that it plans to reintroduce the rare birds to the Mournes within the next five years.
The eagle-eyed bird enthusiast, who caught sight of the magnificent bird of prey, has been able to trace it to a small colony of kites reintroduced to the Wicklow mountains in the Republic a few months ago.
After contacting the people behind the reintroduction programme, he reported that they were thrilled to discover the whereabouts of the young female which had recently disappeared from the Wicklow skies.
Birdwatcher Cameron Moore, from Whitehead, said he realised it was a red kite rather than a buzzard as soon as he saw the long forked tail, the white patches on the underwing, the wing span of almost two metres, the chestnut red plumage and the pale grey head.
"I originally thought it was from Scotland to be quite honest," he said.
He then noticed that the kite was carrying blue wing tags on each wing and after hours of careful scrutiny - with the permission of the landowner - was able to make out the details.
"I was excited that it had wing tags because I knew I would be able to trace that bird.
"It's a female in its first year," he said.
Mr Moore said he contacted Damian Clarke of the Co Wicklow project, who was " thrilled to bits" to find the kite had made it as far as Northern Ireland.
"He thought something had happened to the bird," Mr Moore said.
"I told him the bird's 100 per cent and flying about here. I watched it feeding and there's no sign that the bird is ill."
Mr Moore said he managed to take some still photographs and moving footage of the red kite soaring in the air.
"It's feeding well, soaring around, taking insects in the air. I think it was dragonflies or something. It was great to watch it," he said.
"The bird stayed in this location for seven days and now has moved on. It has not been seen since."
The red kite wasn't his only recent spotting coup. Mr Moore said he learned that a small squacco heron had been spotted at Lough Beg a few weeks ago and on his fourth trip he saw it for himself and captured its image in photographs and footage.
"This bird's last reported sighting here was in 1881," he said.