Twitchers flock to Leeds nature reserve after sighting of rare bird

Twitchers have been flocking to a Leeds nature reserve after the sighting of a rare bird.

Sunday, 10th October 2021, 11:31 am
RSPB St Aidan's. PIC: Michiko Smith/SWNS

Around 1,500 people have visited St Aidans Nature Reserve in east Leeds after an extremely rare Long-toed Stint, a bird which has strayed a long way from its normal range, was found on Friday. (October 8)

The Long-toed Stint breeds in Siberia during the Northern Hemisphere summer. The breeding range is very fragmented and includes the Chukchi Peninsula, Koryak Plateau, Commander Islands, Kuril Islands, the area around the Sea of Okhotsk, N Verkhoyansky District and around the Ob and Irtysh Rivers.

The birds migrate south after breeding to winter in E India, Sri Lanka, Indochina as far as Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and to W and SE Australia.

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There have only been three previously verified occurrences in the British Isles, with records from Cornwall in 1970, Cleveland in 1982 and Ballycotton in County Cork in 1996; so if accepted by the British Birds Rarities Committee this will be the first in 25 years.

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