A WOMAN from Crudwell was left stunned when she discovered a bird which is believed to be extinct in the British wild wandering around her back garden.

There hasn’t been a confirmed sighting in the wild of a Lady Amherst’s pheasant since March 2015 but when Angela King looked out of her window one morning last week she found the extremely rare bird nonchalantly going about its business.

The colourful pheasant is native to southwestern China and northern Myanmar and is believed to have been introduced to Britain in the 19th Century when owners of stately homes brought them over as game.

Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire had the largest populations but the species eventually died out in the UK and feral populations are believed to be extinct.

Angela said: “When I saw it, I called for my husband to come and look too as I knew no one would believe what I'd seen. 

"If the identification is correct then it should never have been alive to wander in to my garden.

“Someone else in Crudwell did say they had seen it the year before."

A spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said that owners are not recorded and it is not a protected species.

Any sightings away from the Bucks/Bedfordshire area are thought to be escapees or illegal releases.