There had been only eight recorded sightings of the white-throated needletail in the UK since 1846…The last sighting of a white-throated needletail was 22 years ago. A relative of the common swift, it is said to be capable of flying at an astonishing 106mph…A group of 40 enthusiasts dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and blue bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia…John Marchant, 62, who had made the trip all the way from Norfolk, said: ‘We were absolutely over the moon to see the bird. We watched it for nearly two hours. ‘But while we were watching it suddenly got a bit close to the turbine and then the blades hit it. ‘We all rushed up to the turbine, which took about five minutes, hoping the bird had just been knocked out the sky but was okay. ‘Unfortunately it had taken a blow to the head and was stone dead.
The turbines operate at 24% of capacity, cost 9x more than creating power from gas, and have to be backed up at all times by fuel burning generators in case the wind dies down. And if you’re a white-throated needletail, they can ruin your whole day.