A pair of rare birds escaped from Hawks Conservancy Trust to enjoy an afternoon out in Andover.

Two Northern Bald Ibises caught the attention of residents in Charlton on Saturday. 

The critically endangered specie of birds are characterised by their long, curved bills and feathered heads. 

Rafiki and Timone, a male and female duo from the Sasson Lane tourist attraction decided to take a break yesterday and go for a fly.

Cedric, of Hawks Conservancy Trust, told The Advertiser: “They enjoyed themselves a bit too much yesterday. They spent the afternoon in Portway Industrial Park.” 

It didn’t take long for their disappearance to ruffle feathers. As all birds at the Trust wear tracking devices, staff were able to trace them.

But not before they made their presence known.

One gentleman who spotted the pair took to Facebook to check he wasn’t “going mad”.

He wrote: “Was anyone watching their son or knows of anyone who was watching their son play football on the astroturf at Charlton Sports Centre yesterday afternoon between about 2.45-3.15? 

“There were some very odd birds up on the ridge which might be very rare indeed and escaped from somewhere. I couldn’t take a picture as I didn’t have my phone. 

“I was just passing but you couldn’t miss them if you were there - I’m hoping someone took a picture of them. 

“They were there for ages and not bothered about us spectators at all. Someone please confirm I’m not going mad!”

It was quickly confirmed he wasn’t going mad, the duo had been having fun in the sun.

Cedric said after around four hours, the birds were caught and taken back to their home.

“The weather conditions are so good for birds at the moment because there is so much lift. Usually when birds fly it is for a purpose but at the moment they just seem to be enjoying the conditions,” he said. 

When asked about the relationship of Rafiki and Timone, Cedric said he thought they might be brother and sister.

The pair were bred in captivity as part of a programme to protect endangered species. 

And today they are back at the Trust, enjoying a day off after their Bank Holiday Sunday jaunt.