Twitchers flock to see rare little bustard in Leeds and donate £1,000 to hospice

A RARE bird has brought twitchers flocking to a south Leeds village and and has helped raise £1,000 for a West Yorkshire hospice.

By Mark Lavery
Sunday, 11th August 2019, 1:21 pm
The litle bustard in Methley photographed by David Carr @birdphotos007
The litle bustard in Methley photographed by David Carr @birdphotos007

Hundreds of bird watchers have descended on Methley to catch a glimpse of the little bustard in a field of Cutler Lane at the edge of the Mickletown Ings conservation area.

A bucket collection has been taking place at the edge of the Laurel Farm-owned field since the bustard was spotted on Monday August 5.

Visitors have been donating to the bucket appeal, which has raised £1,000 to be donated to the Prince of Wales Hospice at Pontefract.

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The Halfpenny Lane hospice was chosen to benefit as Laurel Farm farmer James Hughes' late grandfather David Hodgson was cared for there.

David Hunter, chairman of Swillington Ings Bird Group, said little bustards are generally found in countries including France, Spain and Turkey, adding: "They probably turn up in the UK every five years. There was one reported near Slimbridge in Gloucestershire in June this year and there is speculation that this is the same male bird.

"This is the first one I have seen in the UK. It is very rare in England. It is a really interesting find."

Mr Hunter aded: "It is great that so much has been raised for the hospice."

Farmer James Hughes' fiancee Jenny Nelson, said £1,000 is going to the Prince of Wales Hospice in Pontefract with any further donations to be shared among selected local charities in Methley area.

Miss Nelson said: "We have had absolutely amazing support, it has been great. Everyone has supported the appeal and respected the farmland."

Visitors are asked to park responsibly, view the little bustard from Cutler Lane and not enter the field.