People visiting Alexandra Palace over the weekend were alarmed to see a very strange-looking bird that was supposedly “watching” them.
The large, black, vulture-like creature was spotted by the boating lake within the palace grounds.
A photograph of the bird shows it very eerily perching on a branch sticking out of the water, appearing to be somewhat unamused with the attention it was getting by shocked and confused onlookers.
The photographer later posted the image on Twitter with the comment “Went on pedalo Ali Pali this afternoon, very weird bird watching us”.
“I was there with my 4-year-old and we saw the same bird!” replied another social media user.
The bird was later identified by someone else replying to the post as a cormorant.
“Often seen with wings stretched out as they dry them. Have ominous reputation but I think they are great!” they reassured the worried witnesses.
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Cormorants are large aquatic birds that have a wingspan of up to one metre.
The birds live off fish and have a tendency to live in coastal areas, but on rare occasions they have been known to occupy inland lakes.
In Britain and Ireland, there are two types of cormorants – Great Cormorants and Common Shags.