RSPB hails long-term visitor

Life must be too good in Aberdeenshire for one plucky bird that arrived here by accident at the start of December. Despite predictions by wildlife experts that the desert wheatear - a lost migrant - would leave as soon as the weather improved, it has remained at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg.

The unusual traveller, who arrived over a month ago, has spent the whole of December and start of January on the reserve. The desert wheatear, an old world flycatcher, is believed to have become lost travelling to the Sahara on December 2. The intrepid bird is no doubt being helped by the warmer temperatures that are above average for Scotland at this time of year. Another desert wheatear was spotted in Essex in October, but this Aberdeenshire vagrant is believed to be the only one of its kind in the UK at present.

Diana Spencer, RSPB Visitor Officer at Loch of Strathbeg said: “It’s always exciting to see a rarity here at Loch of Strathbeg and we’re lucky to get quite a few unusual visitors.”