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 23 June 2014

First corncrake heard on Rathlin in over 15 years 'scared off by helicopter'

A helicopter has scared off Rathlin's first Corncrake in 15 yearsThe first corncrake heard on Rathlin Island in more than 15 years has fallen silent – after a helicopter landed in the hayfield where it was calling.

RSPB staff, who had been battling to lure the species back to Northern Ireland after it went extinct here in the 1990s, said they were "devastated" that the disturbance appeared to have scared off the male bird.
"Rathlin Island is directly on the flight path for birds returning to breed on the islands of Islay, Colonsay and Oransay to the north," Peter Harper from RSPB Northern Ireland explained.

"To hear there was a calling bird on the island was just fantastic news and the longer he stayed the more likely it was that we could have breeding corncrake on Rathlin once again."

The Belfast Telegraph revealed that the corncrake had been heard calling from an uncropped hayfield in late May.

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