A Caribbean visitor has seen birders flock to islands off the Northumberland coast.
The Bridled Tern, which has arrived on the Farne Islands, is thought to be the same bird which paid a visit last July, when it stayed for two weeks and attracted around 800 bird watchers.
Farne Islands head warden David Steel said: “It caused birders from as far away as Kent and the South West to jump into cars, drive overnight and admire this beauty from the Caribbean. It was the first bridled tern which was accessible to bird watchers in the UK since 1991, and only the 24th recorded for Britain.”
But last week, the bird was spotted on Fair Isle off the Shetlands by ex-Farne Island wardens before it headed south to Northumberland.
“I suspect it may now be with us for some time yet,” said Mr Steel, who believes that the bird may have followed other migrating terns to the UK.
“It is a long way from home, but it seems to be very happy on the Farne Islands, where it has lots of food, and feels safe with all the other terns.
“It is also displaying to the sandwich terns and we may have some hybrid chicks. I think we will have a lot of people coming to see this bird.”
Inner Farne is open daily from 1.30pm to 5pm.
Meanwhile, another rare visitor has turned up at Hauxley nature reserve near Amble, in Northumberland.The Black-Winged Pratincole was spotted by birdwatchers at the Northumberland Wildlife Trust site behind Druridge Bay.
The bird, the size of thrush, comes from Turkey and parts of Asia.
There have been only 39 previous records of the bird in Britain, and it is the first sighting of the species in the North East.
Alan Tilmouth, of the Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club, said: “It may just have decided to go in a different direction and been caught in a weather system.
“It is a very unusual sighting for Northumberland.”
Source – Newcastle Journal, 25 June 2014