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.

Monday 16 September 2013

Rare Semipalmated Sandpiper spotted on Brownsea Island

A tiny bird which wandered up to a Brownsea Island webcam turned out to be an extremely rare visitor from North America.

The Semipalmated Sandpiper caused the UK’s first ever online twitch as bird enthusiasts logged on to see the robin sized visitor.

Eagle-eyed Paul Morton spotted the unusual looking bird through the Brownsea Island lagoon webcam, set up for people to view nesting terns, avocets and waders that flock to the nature reserve to feed.

Founder of the Birds of Poole Harbour education charity, Paul was sat at his desk in Poole when his eyes fell on the tiny wading bird feeding metres away from the camera.

“I was on the phone to a colleague talking to him about the cameras capabilities, when I noticed on my computer monitor a bird I had never seen on the camera before,” he said.

The bird was identified as Poole Harbour’s first ever Semipalmated Sandpiper and only the eighth record for Dorset.

Chris Thain, warden for Dorset Wildlife Trust on Brownsea said: “This is a brilliant find. The Brownsea Lagoon is such a vital area for wintering and migrating birds.”

To watch the webcam live go to

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