EDINBURGH, Scotland, May 3 (UPI) -- Two groups of birdwatchers say they chartered planes when an off-course Caspian plover was sighted on a remote Scottish island.
The twitchers, as they are known in Britain, managed to reach Fair Isle within hours of the sighting Friday morning, The Scotsman reported. After spending $4,000 per group on planes, they found no sign of the plover anywhere.
Deryk Shaw, warden of the Fair Isle Bird Observatory, believes that the plover has gone elsewhere.
"They were very disappointed but they are used to it, I think," he said.
Shaw himself got a look at the bird, which was first reported by Jane Reid of Aberdeen University. Reid was on Fair Isle doing research on starlings, a far more common bird in Britain.
He believes the bird was a female because of its fawn-and-gray breast feathers. A male would have had a bright chestnut band as well.
The sighting was the fourth ever in Britain of the Caspian plover, which has a range in central Asia about 2,500 miles from Fair Isle.
Fair Isle, a 3-mile-long island between the Orkneys and Shetlands with 70 human inhabitants, is considered the most remote inhabited island in Scotland. It is famous for its bird life -- a combination of nesting sea birds and migrants using the island as a rest stop -- and its sweaters.