Sunday, 29 January 2012

Native North American White Throated Sparrow in UK

See British Birds magazine,October 2011, Vol. 104,555-634, pp 621-22

"Multiple arrivals of White-throated Sparrows are nothing new, but the arrival of at least seven birds in one spring is exceptional."

The birds first arrived in Cornwall in May 2011, then in Fair Isle, Isles of Scilly, Shetland in May, and in June they were spotted in Caernarfonshire, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.

"A significant clue as to how these sparrows crossed the Atlantic came in the shape of one individual that arrived in Sothanmpton Docks, Hampshire, at 6.30 am on 6th May 2010. It was the last of five that had been on the deck of the Queen Mary II ever since leaving New York on 29 April."

Four of the birds left the ship before it docked.

"Its ready tolerance of human presence and willingness to seek human sanctuary on boats are useful survival tactics."

2011 saw a larger number of White-Throated Sparrows than usual which suggests more of the birds are taking a cruise and surviving!

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