A BIRD that went extinct in the UK hundreds of years ago has been spotted in the Cheshire skies.

Cheshire Wildlife Trust has shared their excitement after a white stork was seen flying over the county.

Darren Banks, the trust’s land management officer, couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

He said: “I thought it was a common crane at first but after watching it for a while I realised it was a white stork!

“It was fantastic to witness it circling overhead with its incredible wing span."

White storks are large birds known for their white plumage and black wing feathers.

Historically, they were once a common sight in the UK but became extinct as a wild breeding bird around 600 years ago.

There have been recent efforts to reintroduce them back into the wild, including the White Stork Project in the south of England.

Warsaw Zoo donated birds which had been rescued following accidents on roads or with powerlines.

Some of these birds are now kept at Cotswold Wildlife Park and every year their offspring are taken to Knepp Estate and Wadhurst Park in Sussex, where they are released into the wild.

The hope is that these birds will return to Sussex when they are older and ready to nest, bringing with them other white storks.

Currently, there are no plans to run a similar project in Cheshire.

Mr Banks said: “There are no upcoming plans to re-introduce them here in Cheshire but it was a great sign to see one this far north!"