Ulster Wildlife uploaded pictures yesterday morning of a Pallas’s leaf warbler in a garden at the southern end of the Ards Peninsula. This is only the third-ever time this species has been found in Northern Ireland.
This Pallas’s leaf warbler was a long way from home, spotted in a garden in the Ards Peninsula. This particular bird weighs less than a pound coin and breeds in mountain forests ranging from southern Siberia, east to northern Mongolia, and northeast China.
It was given its name by German zoologist Peter Simon Pallas, the man who first formally described it.
Nature Reserves Officer, Ronald Surgenor, spent five hours bringing these rare pictures of their lesser-spotted visitor to light.
Tiny bird spotted in NI 3,000 miles from home – the Pallas’s leaf warbler
The folks at Ulster Wildlife were delighted to capture photos of this Pallas’s leaf warbler in a garden at the southern end of the Ards Peninsula.
This is only the third time this particular bird has been sighted in Northern Ireland, so it’s truly a rare and wonderful sight.
The tiny bird is over 3,000 miles, almost 5,000 km, from its usual breeding grounds in Asia, which tends to be in mountain forests in parts of Siberia, Mongolia, and China.
A special set of photos – capturing the bird for the third time ever in NI
This was a really special occasion, especially for those who were able to see the little bird in person. The Pallas’s leaf warbler has only been spotted in the region twice before.
Ronald Surgenor, who patiently spent five hours capturing the pictures, said, “Last Saturday a couple of avid birders alerted me to this Pallas’s leaf warbler, which was spotted in a garden at the southern end of the Ards Peninsula – over 3,000 miles from their breeding grounds in Asia.
“I immediately made my way there to try and capture some photos. This species is similar in size to a goldcrest, weighing just 7g – less than a pound coin”.
He went on to say, “There has been a bit of an influx of these birds recently – over the last 10 days or so, three or four have been spotted across Ireland.
“This will likely be because of low pressure weather systems which knocked them off course when they were flying south for the winter, and they ended up travelling all the way across Europe to Ireland”.
The Pallas’s leaf warbler – native to parts of Asia
Thanks to avid birdwatchers, this special occasion was able to be captured on camera for the third time ever in Northern Ireland.
This bird has made a long journey from its native breeding ground, over 3,000 miles, to land in our part of the world.
So, as there have been multiple sightings across Ireland over the past ten days or so, keep your eyes peeled, and you might just be lucky enough to spot it.
Follow Ulster Wildlife here for more unusual sightings and general updates on wildlife and how you can help them in Northern Ireland.