As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Rare Asian rosefinch has twitchers in flap

The rosefinch
A youngster that strayed on to the Copeland Islands after becoming hopelessly lost has birdwatchers in a tizzy.

When staff from the Copeland Bird Observatory caught a young common rosefinch on Saturday, it was only the third ever confirmed sighting in Northern Ireland — and the other two were also in the Copelands.

Common rosefinches hail from Mongolia and the Far East but have gradually spread westwards in recent years to eastern European countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic. However, they remain extremely rare in Ireland.

Duty officer David Galbraith said common rosefinches have previously been sighted on the islands in 1977 and 1985, but have not been recorded anywhere else in Northern Ireland.

“It was a normal day’s monitoring of migrating birds at the observatory. We had swallows and housemartins moving through in reasonable numbers, and some goldcrests,” he said.

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