An 'exiled' albatross thought to be one of only a few in the northern hemisphere has reappeared on the Yorkshire coast - after being feared dead following an eagle attack.

Stunning pictures captured by Martin Jones, 61, show the black-browed albatross flying just a couple of feet off the Bempton Cliffs in East Yorkshire.

The loneliest bird in Europe was last seen off the Yorkshire coast nearly a year ago when it was looking for a gliding pal.

It is believed that the albatross travelled more than 8,000 miles from its home in the Falkland Islands in 2014 and has since been roaming European skies.

There have only been roughly 30 albatross sightings in the UK in recorded history and birders flocked to the beauty spot to snatch at the chance to see the rare bird.

The RSPB said the bird returned to socialise with the gannet colony at Flamborough Head, after surviving an attack from nine white-tailed eagles in Denmark.

The conservation charity said that the albatross was feared to have died following the attack between in May this year as it had not been seen since.

Matt Jones drove for nearly five hours from his home in Wales on Tuesday to see the ‘mystical’ bird.

He said: “The opportunity to see a bird so rare is unmissable.

“Getting these shots was incredible. The views I got were exceptional, I got so close.

“It’s the first one I’ve ever seen one, it’s a very rare occurrence.

“It’s a mystical and special bird.

“It was an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Albatrosses rely on wind to fly and use their gigantic wings to glide in the gusty southern air which is why they rarely make it through to the northern hemisphere as the equatorial air is extremely still.

On rare occasions the albatross may reach the northern hemisphere with only one such occurrence recorded every decade.