HUNDREDS of twitchers have descended on a village in the hope of catching sight of a rare visitor to the UK.
Bird fanciers from as far afield as Essex travelled to Shincliffe, on the outskirts of Durham, after word spread a yellow-rumped warbler had been seen in nearby woodland.
The bird is quite common in North America, but there have only been 17 recorded sightings in Great Britain.
“Most of those were on rocks and small islands off the mainland,” said Mark Newsome of Durham Bird Club.
“It is even rarer to see this bird in winter, and this is the first recorded sighting in County Durham or on the North East coastline.
“Yellow-rumped warblers normally migrate south to central America, so it is likely this one has been blown off course over the Atlantic.
“They can be found into southern Canada and are quite hardy.
“This one is feeding regularly from halved coconuts which have been hung from branches.”
A resident of Shincliffe who was taking part in the RSPB’s Garden Birdwatch was the first to see the warbler last month and called the charity to help identify the bird.
Mr Newsome said the warbler would probably stay in the area until spring, when it would then get the urge to migrate.