A MUM photographed this 2ft bird of prey perched on a promenade railing – then realized it was a rare, missing £330,000 hawk.
Natalie Ellis, 50, from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, posted the pictures online.
She learned it was a white gyrfalcon, the world’s largest falcon, that went missing in London.
Natalie, who works as a general manager for a pet product design company, said: “I’ve been looking down [riding my bike]and then I looked up, and when I looked up, I looked that bird in the eye.
“I got so close and it surprised me – and the bird seemed surprised too.
“It seemed pretty quiet and comfortable around people.
“I thought it was a snowy owl. It just popped into my head and I was like, “Wow, that’s a snowy owl.”
“And then people got involved on Facebook and my friend messaged me and said the bird had disappeared from London.
“It is the largest falcon in the world and rare. That is amazing [it was] sit and look 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.