Sunday, 1 July 2007

First UK Yellow-nosed Albatross released at Brean Down, Somerset, 30 June 2007

News of a sub-adult Yellow-nosed Albatross that was taken into care at Brean, Somerset, on 29 June and released from Brean Down at 4 pm on 30 June has taken Britain's birders by surprise - none even heard about the extraordinary occurrence until after the bird's rescuers had let it go.

The huge seabird apparently flew into a garden at Brean on Friday 29th and was unable to get airborne again. The householders picked it up and, thinking it was a Fulmar, took it to the local animal rescue centre. It was in care overnight, but on inspection seemed healthy so its release was organised for the afternoon at Brean Down.

During its brief residence in the country this first for Britain was not seen by any birders. It was correctly identified subsequently by local ornithologists who studied the photos. The record follows the sighting of another sub-adult Yellow-nosed Albatross in Norwegian waters on the afternoon of 28 June, the timings meaning that two different birds were surely involved.