Rare bird normally found in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka photographed in Britain

October 9, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

Birdwatchers were on ”mega alert” today after a rare creature was spotted on a British island.

More than 500 twitchers have flocked to the Isles of Scilly hoping to catch a glimpse of the Sykes’ Warbler.

The small bird is thousands of miles off course and is usually only found in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

The tiny Sykes' Warbler normally found in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka which was photographed on the island of Tresco by spotter Dick Filby

The tiny Sykes’ Warbler normally found in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka which was photographed on the island of Tresco by spotter Dick Filby

But on Friday one was spotted in the tiny village of Old Grimsby on Tresco, one of the Scilly Isles.

Experts believe the feather-brained creature has become lost on its way to Asia.

The pale brown bird was first spotted by twitcher Dick Filby, 54, of Norwich, a regular visitor to the islands.

He said: “It was the first time I had ever seen one. I have been coming to the Isles of Scilly now for the past 38 consecutive autumns looking for migration.

The rare visitor peeks out from the bushes, sparking a frenzy among twitchers desperate for a glimpse of the creature

The rare visitor peeks out from the bushes, sparking a frenzy among twitchers desperate for a glimpse of the creature

”It is definitely one of the rarest birds I have ever found. As soon as I realised what it was, I became excited.  It will probably be the only opportunity I have to see one.”

Will Wagstaff, of the Isles of Scilly Bird Group, said the warbler, which has a nasal “chip” call, should have landed in Asia.

He said: ”He would have been going beyond the Black Sea so he was a long way off course. It is amazing how they can go so far when they are going over land.”

The Sykes’ Warbler has a breeding range that stretches from north east Arabia to Afghanistan.

During the winter, the bird migrates to the Indian subcontinent as far south as Sri Lanka and is usually found in open, bushy county.

Experts say it has only previously been spotted in Britain on a handful of occasions.

Category: News

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