Residents are urged to plan a visit to Southend Pier soon as a "rare" bird species has been spotted at the landmark - with more expected tomorrow.

The feathered visitors have been seen today around Southend Pier - an "unusual" sight in the city as the species rarely visits Britain.

A Southend Pier and Railway spokesman said: "Some unusual feathered visitors have been spotted at Southend Pier!

"The White-billed Diver - otherwise known as a Yellow-billed Loon - is a rare sight in Southend...

"Great news, more of the feathered visitors are expected tomorrow! Plan your visit soon!"

According to the British Trust for Ornithology, the White-billed Divier is a "scarce" visitor to Britain and Ireland - with sightings mostly recorded in Scotland.

The Arctic species breeds primarily along the coasts of the Arctic Ocean.

One visitor who spotted the birds yesterday took to X - formerly Twitter - to say: "Well that was a crazy day! Headed to Southend pier to look for GNDivers when Essex first twitchable White billed Diver showed up and stayed close around the pier head through the afternoon to be enjoyed by many."