Page last updated at 20:22 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 21:22 UK

Twitchers' delight over rare bird


The North American fly catcher was spotted near Land's End

A bird never before seen in Britain has turned up 2,000 miles from home near Land's End.

The Alder Flycatcher attracted 200 birdspotters - known as twitchers - to Nanjizal in West Cornwall on Thursday.

The small creature is normally to be found in the wetlands of northern South America, where it usually winters.

Expert ringers have been given a licence to catch the bird in a net for further study before quickly releasing it back into the wild.

The twitchers, alerted by text messages, travelled from all over Britain, including Yorkshire and Tyneside, to photograph the unique visitor.

One Alder Flycatcher has been seen before in Iceland but never in Britain.

The bird species measures from 13 to 17 cm (5-7 in); weighs 12 to 14g (0.42-0.49 ounces); and has a wingspan of 21-24 cm (8-9 in).

It feeds mainly on insects caught in the air or gleaned from the foliage of trees and shrubs.

Twitchers to spot rare species
29 Feb 04 |  England

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