You could say that a certain bird sighted in Ireland last October had a wind-fall. Hi, I'm Dave Thurlow and this is the weather Notebook. As commentator Chuck Kruger tells us today, unexpected visitor arrived on Cape Clear Island in Ireland following a storm last year.
Last October, when Hurricane Isaac's tail-end sweeps over Ireland's southernmost isle, I know, because, out for a peek at mountainous waves, I'm flattened beside a rabbit track on top of a headland.
The next morning, skies clearing, scud - called sea spit here - streaking windowpanes, swells massive but not mighty, a Belfast birdwatcher peers about Cape Clear's protected waist and hopes for something off course. He spots a flick of loud yellow, zeroes in on something never before recorded in Europe, an occasionally sulky but definitely perky Blue-winged Warbler.
When I board the afternoon return ferry to the island, having completed my one-day-a-month mainland errands, I hear of the landing of this unfortunate hitch-hiker, read his pedigree in a dog-eared East Coast Peterson Guide, learn that he winters from Mexico to Panama.
And suddenly, on the stern deck, alight a flock of birders from all over Ireland, England, Scotland, one from Switzerland, four from the Scillies. Shortly after landing we spot him. It's as though the entire group's given a shot of adrenaline. Caught in this collective, I want to shout Hallelujah and imagine Handel's chorus reaching crescendo in the shrubbery behind us.
Thanks to writer Chuck Kruger who lives in Ireland. And to our generous underwriters, Subaru and the National Science Foundation.