Tees

Rare white throated robin spotted in Hartlepool

Dozens of bird watchers from all over the UK flocked to a bowling green in Hartlepool to witness the arrival of a rare bird.

Word spread quickly when the rarely-seen white throated robin was spotted by local ornithologist Chris Brown.

The robin, which is more at home in Turkey, became trapped in a mist net used to identify birds in the area.

Experts said the sighting was the first of a white throated robin in the UK for 11 years.

After it was formally identified and ringed, the bird was released.

Mr Brown said: "It was certainly a surprise to discover we had such a rare visitor in the net.

"I called my friend over straight away and then word got out."

Brian Egan, from Rare Bird Alert, said he expected the robin to remain in the area for a day or so, before heading back to mainland Europe.

He said the species had only been seen in Britain two times previously, in 1990 and 1983.

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