Twitchers in a flap over rare bird

RARE BIRD .... a northern treecreeper has visited Whitburn Costal Park. Below, ranger Dougie Holden.
RARE BIRD .... a northern treecreeper has visited Whitburn Costal Park. Below, ranger Dougie Holden.
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A RARE bird has caused a bit of a flap in South Tyneside – the first time the species has been recorded in Britain this year.

Twitchers have been flocking to Whitburn Coastal Park after a northern treecreeper was spotted.

Dougie Holden.

Dougie Holden.

The tiny creature, which normally lives in northern Norway or Sweden, was caught in one of the Coastal Conservation’ Group’s (CCG) nets last week as members carried out their ringing programme.

Group member John Brown was responsible for finding it in the nets, and records show it’s only the fourth time the species has been recorded in the area since records began.

National Trust ranger, Dougie Holden, said: “Members of the CCG had the nets out as part of their ringing work and the northern treecreeper ended up getting caught.

“As far as we’re aware, this is the first time this bird has visited the British mainland this year.

“We do have tree creepers in this country, but this bird had a much lighter, and frosted plumage, suggesting it’s from Scandinavia.”

The CCG members regularly net birds, to place identification rings around their legs. This enables them to track their journeys and chart how many times they visit.

Dougie said: “The bird actually ended up trapped for a second time a few days later, so it looks like it’s staying in the area.

“It is very hard to spot, and creeps up the trees as it looks for small grubs to eat. Since there’s normally only 10 visits a year for the whole of the UK, this is quite a rare find for us indeed.”

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