Mob of birdwatchers slammed for chasing rare migratory warbler out of a bush

7 October 2022, 10:57 | Updated: 7 October 2022, 11:22

Mob of birdwatchers around a rare migratory warbler
Mob of birdwatchers around a rare migratory warbler. Picture: social media

By Stephen Rigley

A mob of 50 birdwatchers have been blasted for chasing a rare migratory warbler out of a bush to take pictures of it.

RSPB Scotland said that the animal's welfare should "always come first" after three people were seen circling a bush housing the small bird.

Around 50 people could be seen standing on the side of the road, which is believed to be in the Shetland Islands, as the lanceolated warbler took flight.

"Seeing nature in the wild is a privilege that we should never take for granted. Such experiences should be accepted on the terms of the species, not people," RSPB Scotland told The Times.

Jack Baddams, co-host of the nature podcast 'How many geese?', said that there were 'so many ethics at play' after watching the video.

The podcaster claimed that the group of people were trying to photograph the lanceolated warbler after making noise to flush it out.

"Chasing a small bird around that's miles off course, preventing it from feeding and resting... There are no ethics at play here,"Mr Baddams said.

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He added: "Some walking into the grass where it was hiding, clapping and making noise to flush it in front of the watching crowd. It was proper grim."

Another social media critic added: "This is shameful behaviour and doesn't represent anyone who enjoys birdwatching and nature. These people should all be fined for harassing wildlife."

Replying to the video, social media user James Shergold said that the bird was being moved after a farmer's request.

He said: "It was done to get the bird out of a field with dangerous livestock at the request of the land owner and away from the road into a field that wouldn’t cause issues with either of the mentioned."

He added that it was moved 'maybe 30m' across the road.

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