A MUM snapped this 2ft bird of prey sitting on a promenade railing — then found it was a rare missing falcon worth £330,000.

Natalie Ellis, 50, from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, put the pictures online.

Mum Natalie learned the white gyrfalcon was missing from London
Kennedy News and Media
The mum from Leigh-on-Sea in Essex put the pictures online
Kennedy News and Media

She learned it was a white gyrfalcon, the largest falcon in the world, missing from London.

Natalie, who works as a managing director for a pet product design company, said: “I was looking down [riding my bike], and then I looked up, and as I looked up, I locked eyes with this bird.

“I was so close to it and it took me by surprise – and the bird seemed surprised as well.

“It seemed quite calm and comfortable around people.

“I thought it was a snow owl. It just came into my mind and I thought, ‘wow, it’s a snow owl’.

“And then people got involved on Facebook, and my friend messaged me and said that the bird was lost from London.

“It’s the largest falcon in the world, and rare. It’s amazing that [it was] sitting looking back at me on Chalkwell Beach.

“It was beautiful, and to think that it was so rare and so valuable makes it even more amazing.”

Professional falconers and locals are now on the lookout for the missing bird spotted by Natalie, with a £1,000 reward for its safe return up for grabs.

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