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The fastest flying bird in the world is the White-throated Needletail. Generally living around Asia, Siberia, and Australia (depending on the time of the year), it is a very rare specimen to be found in the UK.
It has only been spotted eight times over the last 170 years, with the last occasion being in 1991, so naturally this sighting caused quite a stir amongst the twitching community who themselves began to migrate north to the Outer Hebrides in order to catch a glimpse of this rare bird that was thousands of miles off course.
More than 80 twitchers had flocked to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris, with many more expected to arrive over the coming days. Unfortunately those yet to make it will find their trip in vain after the bird flew directly into a wind turbine blade and died in front of 40 onlookers.
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Josh Jones, from Bird Guides, said that “it was seen by birders fly straight into the turbine. It is ironic that after waiting so long for this bird to turn up in the UK, it was killed by a wind turbine and not a natural predator.
It is tragic. More than 80 people had already arrived on the island and others were coming from all over the country. But it just flew into the turbine. It was killed instantly.
The corpse will be sent to a museum but obviously this is just terrible. Some people will have lost the cost of their flights.”
Steve Duffield, an expert on wildlife found in the Western Isles, explained that “the bird in Harris was hanging around for its third day - it was attracting a lot of attention from the birding community with people travelling from southern England to see it.
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Unfortunately after showing very well to the delight of all present yesterday - probably around 40 people in the morning with others arriving in the afternoon - it was seen to hit the blade of a small wind turbine in Tarbert and was killed.
A very sad end to a delightful bird that may well have attracted many more birders to Harris over the following days had it not met it's untimely demise.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com