Twitchers - and hoteliers - mourn rare Scilly roadkill
It flew 3,000 miles across the Atlantic, surviving all that an ocean storm could send its way, and was entitled to a bit of relaxation, a hearty meal of insects and the adoration of birdwatchers This is a list of the world's greatest birdwatchers, based on the number of species of birds seen. Depending on the taxonomic viewpoint, there are about 8,800–10,200 living bird species. . This, after all, is a bird with a rarity value described by one website as "mega".
But sadly for this hardy common nighthawk The Common Nighthawk, Chordeiles minor, is a nightjar.
The adults have dark with brown, grey and white patterning on the upperparts and breast; the long wings are black and reveal a white bar when in flight. - common, that is, in the US, - its odyssey ended abruptly and violently when it was hit by a car shortly after touching down on the Isles of Scilly.
Birders were in mourning yesterday for the sudden death of the creature while hoteliers and publicans on Scilly were upset at the loss of the trade they would have enjoyed had it lasted just a few more days and drawn in the crowds.
Dave Flumm , Cornwall's RSPB RSPB n abbr (Brit) (= Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) → LPO f
RSPB (Brit) n abbr (= Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) → reserve manager, said: "It is upsetting. He had done so well to get here and to be killed like that ... He must have been blown off course by the storms they've been having over there."
Common nighthawks, sometimes called bullbats, are widespread in the US but they are only seen in the UK when they are accidentally propelled over by strong winds, usually while trying to migrate to South America South America, fourth largest continent (1991 est. pop. 299,150,000), c.6,880,000 sq mi (17,819,000 sq km), the southern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. at this time of year.
A nighthawk nighthawk: see goatsucker.
Any of several species of North and South American birds in the whippoorwill family (Caprimulgidae) that are buff, reddish, or grayish brown, usually with light spots or patches, and 6–14 in. appears in the UK every couple of years or so and tends to send birdwatchers into something of a flutter. The bird has been sighted in south Wales, Cheshire, Dorset, Nottinghamshire, Orkney and Scilly. One even made it as far as London according to the website www.birdguides.com.
The bird's death saved it from a lonely end to its life. It would have had little chance of getting back to the US and instinct would probably have led it to fly south to Africa. It would almost certainly have found no mate there.
Poignantly it was a keen amateur birdwatcher bird watcher or bird·watch·er also bird-watch·er
A person who observes and identifies birds in their natural surroundings.
bird watching n. who came upon the unfortunate visitor on a road on St Mary's, the Scilly's most populous island. Sadly it was not flitting flit
intr.v. flit·ted, flit·ting, flits
1. To move about rapidly and nimbly.
2. To move quickly from one condition or location to another.
1. A fluttering or darting movement. around chasing insects but very definitely the victim of a road crash.
The bird was taken to a local pub, the Scillonian Club where birdwatchers meet at this time of year at night to compare notes on what they have seen. It was examined on the pool table.
Pub manager Dave Chodkiewicz said: "Some birdwatchers picked it up dead and brought it into the club. It was examined on the pool table in the middle of the bar and identified. I'd never seen anything like it before. They all gathered around like vultures."
Chodkiewicz felt bad for the bird but also for trade. "It would have been a bit of a corker cork·er
1. One that corks bottles, for example.
2. Slang A remarkable or astounding person or thing.
Old-fashioned slang for the islands after a bad summer," he said.