A GIANT bird of prey, which crash landed in a Broadstone home in June, has made another bid for freedom.
The Russian Steppe Eagle interrupted a wildlife walk on Upton Heath to the surprise of members of Dorset Wildlife Trust.
The bird, which has a wingspan of more than 4ft, made its dramatic appearance after escaping from a falconer at a landfill site near Beacon Hill.
Storm made the news during the French Open tennis final in June, when he escaped and flew through open doors into the living room of Wendy Morrell and her friend Karen Ruddlesden.
“We were out on our Walk with Nature at Upton Heath when out of nowhere this large, dark shadow appeared,” said Nigel Brooks, DWR urban and East Dorset warden.
“We all scrambled to get our binoculars in focus as this huge bird perched itself on a sand mound in front of us. It was an unbelievable surprise when we realised it was in fact a Russian Steppe Eagle.”
DWT member and volunteer Richard Agg said: “We actually went on the walk to look at all the reptiles and small insects that live on the heath, so it was a total shock to see such a big bird of prey.
“It was actually my wife Rosemary who first spotted it and it was really interesting to be able to see such a fantastic bird in action. It’s not the sort of thing you see every day.”
After its brush with freedom on the heath, the bird was eventually reunited with its falconer James Moore, who had been using it to scare off seagulls at the nearby SITA landfill site.
Not normally encountered on Dorset heathland, Russian Steppe Eagles originate from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. They have been known to grow up to 32 inches in height and can have a wingspan of up to seven feet.