A rare snowy owl that once spent three winter months living on potato fields between Boston and Skegness is one of the ‘stars’ of a new publication.
Former Boston/Skegness Standard reporter Jim Wright has compiled an illustrated booklet highlighting some of the scarce birds seen on the county’s coast over the past decade.
Following its arrival on Boxing Day, 1990, the unusual visitor from the Arctic attracted hundreds of twitchers, some travelling hundreds of miles to Friskney to marvel at its strange and magnificent presence, its penetrating yellow eyes clearly visible to those who had brought with them high-magnification ‘scopes’.
There was even a suggestion that the name of a nearby village pub, The Barley Mow, should be changed to The Snowy Owl.
Although in winter, some birds migrate from Arctic breeding grounds to the Shetlands, it was exceptional for one to have travelled so far south of its normal wintering range.
‘A Birdwatching Guide to the Lincolnshire Coast’ identifies some of the top coastal birding hotspots, including Frampton Marsh, Freiston Shore and Gibraltar Point, but notes that unusual species can turn up almost anywhere including back gardens and construction sites.
Jim, who names his favourite bird as the swift, said: “Part of the purpose of publishing this guide is to encourage visiting birdwatchers to combine their hobby with enjoying local shops, hotels, guesthouses and other holiday accommodation.
The booklet, part-sponsored by several Skegness-area accommodation-providers is available priced £3 through bookshops/newsagents, online retailers or direct from Jim (tel: 01472 603861).