Twitchers flock to Isles of Scilly for 'extraordinary' rare birds

Hundreds of twitchers have descended on the Isles of Scilly after two incredibly rare birds were spotted off the coast. The bird spotters flocked to the isolated Bishop Rock Lighthouse, located 6.5km west of the archipelago.

Earlier this month a 'red-footed booby' was seen on the outcrop of rock. The species is so rare it has only been spotted once before in UK waters. But remarkably the bird has been joined over the weekend by a 'brown booby', a similarly rare bird to spot in Britain.

Both birds are native to tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean and rarely travel outside warm water zones. Dick Filby, of Rare Bird Alert, said: "It's extraordinary that they're both there at the same time. The birds are of the same family but a different species.

"To have two tropical birds, that rarely travel further than the Caribbean to be in the same place on the south west coast of England is exciting. They're a long way from home. The red-footed booby has only been identified once in Britain and the brown booby has only been seen five or six times."

The red-footed booby was spotted by a birdwatcher on patrol around the isolated Bishop Rock Lighthouse on August 7. Since then, more than 400 birdwatchers have dropped everything to see the bird, which appears to be resting before a return journey south.

On Monday, August 28, keen birdwatchers spotted the second bird join its counterpart on the foot of the lighthouse.