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 11 July 2019

2000 birdwatchers descend on Gloucestershire for glimpse of rare bustard

The little bustard hasn't been seen in the county since 1946
John Bett
Jenni Phillips Head Of Audience
11:52, 27 JUN 2019
UPDATED11:55, 27 JUN 2019
Thousands of twitchers have flocked to a wildlife reserve to catch a sighting of a 'very rare' bustard bird in the UK.
The little bustard hasn't been seen in the area since 1946 but keen wildlife enthusiast Martin McGill spotted one on Sunday.
News of the sighting soon spread and then thousands of bird-spotters descended on the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.
Around 2,000 twitchers lined up for the chance to see and photograph the "mega" rare sighting.
Reserve warden Mr McGill said: "I did swear and use some very naughty words when I saw it but it's extremely rare.
"This is a mega sighting so we've probably had about 2,000 people by now.
"It's of interest to lots of people so we're hoping it stays for the weekend."
Martin said his first reaction when he spotted the "extremely rare" male bird "can't be published".
Tony Whitehead, from the RSPB, said: "It's a pretty scarce bird, there have only been 27 visits by the little bustard to the UK since 1950.
"But this last few days there has [also] been an influx of painted lady butterflies with the warm weather so it could be that very hot weather in France and Spain is causing a bit of movement."
The little bustard is a large bird in the bustard family, and it breeds in southern Europe and in western and central Asia.
Southernmost European birds are mainly resident, but other populations migrate further south in winter.
The last reported sighting in the Gloucestershire was in May 1946, and in Britain in 2014.

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