Before twitchers start booking CalMac ferry tickets to Tiree – it’s not there anymore. Its accidental visit had to be kept secret until it had gone.
An unusual bird, normally seen only in the USA, the Cedar Waxing was photographed in a garden on Tiree.
Just a bit bigger than a house sparrow, it is thought to have been blown thousands of miles off course during its migration, by strong westerly winds.
The brightly coloured fruit-eating bird is so rare in Britain that it has only been recorded previously on two occasions: once in Shetland in 1985; and once in Nottingham in 1996.
Local RSPB Scotland officer, John Bowler, says: ‘When it turned up in a really exhausted state, the garden’s owner was unable to identify it, so gave me a ring.
‘We get all sorts of unusual birds turning up at this time of year, so I’d no idea what to expect, but I was a bit shocked when I finally saw it.
‘Cedar waxwings are such rare and exotic visitors, that it would normally have attracted a large number of twitchers to the island. However, since it was in a private garden, its appearance had to be kept a secret until after it had gone.
‘It feasted on cotoneaster berries for several days, regaining its strength, and was last seen at the end of September before heading south.’
Twitching is a specific type of birdwatching where people travel, sometimes long distances, to see rare birds, usually species that are non-native to the UK and which are here by accident.
This autumn has proved a particularly good twitching season, with strong winds bringing many rare species to the UK.
(story from ForArgyll.com)