Rare black throated thrush from Russia arrives in Northumberland garden

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While some people have been sent cards and flowers to lift their sprits during lockdown, one Northumberland bird lover has received a surprise which money just can’t buy.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust member Niall Cartlidge was delighted when a very rare black throated thrush visited his West Kyloe garden, near Belford, all the way from Siberia.

Not content with a brief touch down, the bird which is native to Asia and used to colder conditions stayed in his garden for an hour - giving Niall enough time to take photographs.

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The birds are occasionally seen outside of their expected breeding, wintering, or migrating range but sightings in the UK are incredibly rare, with some bird watchers saying they only appear here once or twice a year.

A black throated thrush. Picture by Niall Cartlidge.A black throated thrush. Picture by Niall Cartlidge.
A black throated thrush. Picture by Niall Cartlidge.

Mike Pratt, Northumberland Wildlife Trust chief executive, said: “You get very few sightings of this rare bird each year in the UK, so it’s fabulous that it landed in the garden of a Trust member, in this region and that he was able to identify it and take photos. What a way to lift someone’s spirits at this time. I’m delighted he shared it with us.

“Throughout the whole of the lockdown I have been urging people to look out and look up - from outside or their windows - and watch the birds flying overhead. The sky is a canvas and it’s amazing what you can see flying against it and the paintings that are created.”

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