Hundreds of twitchers travelled the length of the country to see the “bird of the century” – only for it to fly into a wind turbine and die.
Bird-spotters were ecstatic about the first UK sighting of the rare white-throated needletail since 1991.
But their excitement soon turned to horror when it hit the 120ft structure’s rotating blades.
James Hanlon and three pals drove 17 hours through the night to see the black and white swift on the Isle of Harris, one of Scotland’s Western Isles.
He said: “I was watching it through my binoculars from about 200 metres away.
“One minute it was flying in spectacular fashion. I followed it and then watched as it flew into one of the blades of the wind turbine and vanished.
“My heart jumped into my mouth. We dashed over to see if it had been killed and sadly found its body on the ground. It was heartbreaking.”