The search is on for rare albatross

Joe Fryer's picture of the rare black-browed albatross
Joe Fryer's picture of the rare black-browed albatross

Birdwatchers are buzzing after an extremely rare albatross was spotted off the coast of Bempton.

Twitchers from around the country have been heading to the Yorkshire Coast to try to catch a glimpse of a black browed albatross.

12-year-old Joe Fryer

12-year-old Joe Fryer

Only a handful of people have been lucky enough to see it in the past fortnight and so far, the only person who has been able to grab a photo of the visitor is 12-year-old Joe Fryer from Ripon.

He was visiting the coast with his grandparents when he spotted the albatross and immediately set the birdwatching community alight on social media.

He told the Free Press: “I felt overwhelmed and excited when I saw the bird.

“Lots of people have been getting in touch and magazines and websites have even asked me to write an article about the experience.”

Joe said he had been hoping to spot a corn bunting which had been recorded in the area.nBut he ended up with a more spectacular find.

Tony Hood, secreatry of Flamborough Bird Observatory, said: “It’s very unusual. There have only been about 30 records of this species in Britain but these reports are pretty genuine.”

He said the species is more usually found in the Falkland Islands and the rare visitor has not been seen for more than a week.

Tony added: “There were no more sightings this weekend. There has been one spotted at a couple of places in Germany in the last three years so there are suggestions it has gone back there.

“We are still hopeful. It’s annoying that it has been so intermittentand that we can’t pin it down at the minute but a lot of people have a lot of fingers crossed.

“There were a lot of people who came here over the weekend on the off-chance they might spot it.

“People came from Lincolnshire, one guy from the West Midlands and hired a boat from Bridlington to try to see it on the cliffs, and we know a few people have been camping out around Bempton since last Tuesday.”