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, 22 October 2015

Once in a generation bird arrives back in Britain

HISTORY has repeated itself for delighted twitchers after a long lost bird arrived 30 years to the day it was last spotted in Britain.
PUBLISHED: 00:00, Fri, Oct 16, 2015 | UPDATED: 16:33, Fri, Oct 16, 2015

Small greenish bird with yellow face and black cap, perched on a diagonal branchAs the birding community was remembering the previous time a diminutive Wilson's warbler was found on a Cornish headland in 1985, news broke that another one had made landfall.

Dazzling yellow Wilson's warblers are North American songbirds that nest in the vast forests of Canada and spend their winters in Mexico and neighbouring states.

Amazingly, one young bird, weighing little more than a 10p piece, crossed the Atlantic and made landfall near the northernmost tip of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Fortunately for the birdwatching community, the warbler touched down after its epic non-stop flight in a garden next-door to one of the country's best known ornithologists, Tony Marr.

Tony, who just happened to be hosting a visit from another of the country's leading ornithologists, Roy Dennis, explained how a spot of casual after-lunch birdwatching in a neighbouring garden turned into a history making occasion.

He said: "As we reached the gate into the field behind my neighbour's house, we paused to check the line of bushes which constitutes the shelter belt around his house on this very windy island.

"At 2.20 pm a small bird flew towards us. 'Looks like a goldcrest flying towards us', I said to Roy, as a colourful passerine flew in to the top of a small Sitka spruce near the gate. We both raised our binoculars as the bird landed in the tree. 'Oh ****!' I exclaimed. 'It's a Wilson's Warbler', with which Roy immediately agreed.

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