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Twitchers flock to isle to see rare bird.

Excited twitchers from all over the UK are heading for Barra after a rare songbird was spotted on the island.

A Swainson's thrush, usually found in Canada and Alaska, is thought to have been swept off course by recent Atlantic storms.

The birds normally migrate to southern Mexico in the winter and have been seen as far south as Argentina.

There are only a handful of sightings in Britain a year.

A spokesman for the website said:"We already know of a carload of birders - including one chap from Bristol - who have driven to Glasgow then caught a plane to Barra to see this thrush.

"They will soon be joined by others. It is what enthusiastic birders do.

"There are only one or two sightings of Swainson's thrush in the UK a year, if that. It is a very rare visitor."

The thrush, named after English ornithologist William Swainson, is noted for its beautiful song.

Meanwhile another rare bird has turned up in the Outer Hebrides, again brought by the recent Atlantic gales.

A long-billed dowitcher has been recorded at Loch Grogarry on North Uist just days after a cattle egret - normally found hanging around with hippos in Africa - was spotted on the same island.


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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 7, 2012
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