Over 2000 Birdwatchers have visited the Dungeness RSPB nature reserve over the past week to try to view the crested lark bird which has been seen for only the 3rd time in Britain in the past 35 years.
The crested lark was seen at Dungeness National Nature Reserve in Kent on Wednesday 29th April. A Spokesman for the Romney Marsh Countryside Project, Owen Leyshon, said the rare bird was similar to the more common skylark but “slightly plainer and a different shape”.
Owen added: “It will have crossed over the Channel from France. They are not rare in Europe, but they are here as they are a non-migratory bird and do not usually like flying over water”. He also said that the crested lark was “quite secretive and flighty so it’s hard to get prolonged views of it on the ground. It’s quite an amazing spectacle to see hundreds of birdwatchers running across the shingle chasing it.”
The last sighting of a crested lark in Britain was 12 years ago. The sighting before that was in Dungeness in 1975.
Source: BBC Kent News website – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/8030713.stm
Up to 400 bird watchers headed for the Berry Head nature reserve in Brixham this week to see the very rare Sardinian warbler. The bird, blown off course while heading back to the Mediterranean for the winter, is thought to be a female. The bird’s call is distinctive, fast and rattling.
Park manager Nigel Smallbones, of the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, is quoted by This is South Devon website: “It has created a lot of interest. This is only the third or fourth sighting ever on the UK mainland, although they have been spotted occasionally on the Scilly Isles. It may have been brought here unexpectedly by prevailing winds. There were hundreds of people here at the weekend, trying to catch a glimpse and take pictures.”
The Sardinian warbler birds are visitors to the Mediterranean, but are also common in Turkey and Northern Asia.
Source: This is South Devon
An Alder Flycatcher bird, never before seen in Britain, has arrived near Land’s End, Cornwall.
The bird, thought to be either an Alder Flycatcher or Willow flycatcher, attracted birdspotters from all over the UK to Nanjizal, Cornwall on Thursday. The small bird with a wingspan of only 8-9 inches is normally to be found in the wetlands of northern South America, where it usually winters.
Expert ringers have received a licence to catch the bird briefly in a net for further study before it is released back into the wild.
Sources: BBC News Cornwall, Times Online