Rare bird spotted in Crow Country

PUBLISHED: 11:03 13 July 2011

Common Rosefinch

Common Rosefinch

Archant

TWITCHERS flocked to Crow Country this week after a rare bird was spotted near Melbourn possibly for the first time in Cambridgeshire.

Initial reports that a common rosefinch was discovered began trickling on to specialist bird watching websites after it was spotted by photographer David Hatton.

Mr Hatton heard the young bird’s unusual song when he was driving home to catch the Grand Prix on Sunday and recorded it before confirming its identity.

Since then enthusiasts have travelled from as far afield as Leicestershire to see the rosefinch – which is only spotted in the UK a few times a year.

James Eves, who was with his grandfather Roland Power, is one of the lucky few who have seen the small bird.

The 10-year-old said: “It was about medium size and hard to spot.

“My mum came to pick me up from school and told me about the news.

“I talked to the other bird watchers who were already here and it has been here for about two days.”

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said only about 20-50 birds, which are commonly found in eastern Europe, are spotted in the UK each year – usually in locations such as the Isles of Scilly and Orkney.

A spokesman said: “This bird turning up singing is quite unusual.

“When I have seen these birds personally, they don’t sing.

“This bird was found in a habitat close to what you would expect to find in Hungary and Poland – but just a few hundred miles to the west.”

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