Published On: Wed, Dec 14th, 2016

Amateur’s ultra-rare sighting of Siberian dusky thrush brings hundreds of birdwatchers to Derbyshire village

A stocky little bird with brown plumage, the dusky thrush had only been spotted eleven times in the UK before Ms Jones saw one in an orchard on Sunday afternoon.

Ms Jones, a 29-year-old who lives in Beeley, Derbyshire, had only taken up bird-watching 18 months ago. Feeling under the weather, she had settled in for an afternoon of bird photography from her window at home.

It was then that she spotted this most unusual bird, which breeds in Siberia and usually winters in south-east Asia.

Ms Jones, a financial analyst, did not realise the significance of her discovery until she asked fellow bird-watchers to identify the bird in her picture.

Her fellow twitchers’ excitement led her to check the image with Chris Packham, the TV presenter and naturalist, before she finally accepted that it was indeed a dusky thrush.

“The passion of people was just amazing,” she said. “It’s been really good. People have been so friendly.

“I just feel a bit bad that it wasn’t a full-on twitcher who saw it!”

The orchard in which Ms Jones had spotted the bird, visible from her house, is part of the land leased by the Dukes Barn activity centre from Chatsworth House in the Derbyshire countryside.

Weathering a deluge of messages from excited online twitchers, she waited until Dukes Barn gave her permission to reveal the bird’s location.

Some had already guessed, and had come to take their own pictures, but more than 600 descended on the centre on Tuesday once they knew where the bird was to be found.

The centre, which is a charity and often caters for disabled children, has not charged their visitors for access – but has made £1000 in 24 hours thanks to birdwatchers buying food, paying for parking, and putting money in the collection box.

Colin Higginson, the centre’s 57-year-old manager, said he was “absolutely delighted” and that the money would pay for equipment including paddleboards.

“That little bird doesn’t know what it’s done for us,” he said.

 

Source: Amateur’s ultra-rare sighting of Siberian dusky thrush brings hundreds of birdwatchers to Derbyshire village

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