As the birding community was remembering the previous time a diminutive Wilson’s warbler was found on a Cornish headland in 1985, news broke that another one had made landfall.

Dazzling yellow Wilson’s warblers are North American songbirds that nest in the vast forests of Canada and spend their winters in Mexico and neighbouring states.

Amazingly, one young bird, weighing little more than a 10p piece, crossed the Atlantic and made landfall near the northernmost tip of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Fortunately for the birdwatching community, the warbler touched down after its epic non-stop flight in a garden next-door to one of the country’s best known ornithologists, Tony Marr.

Tony, who just happened to be hosting a visit from another of the country’s leading ornithologists, Roy Dennis, explained how a spot of casual after-lunch birdwatching in a neighbouring garden turned into a history making occasion.

He said: “As we reached the gate into the field behind my neighbour’s house, we paused to check the line of bushes which constitutes the shelter belt around his house on this very windy island.

“At 2.20 pm a small bird flew towards us. ‘Looks like a goldcrest flying towards us’, I said to Roy, as a colourful passerine flew in to the top of a small Sitka spruce near the gate. We both raised our binoculars as the bird landed in the tree. ‘Oh ****!’ I exclaimed. ‘It’s a Wilson’s Warbler’, with which Roy immediately agreed.

“It was bright yellow of an intensity I’d never seen in a bird before. I knew instantly what it was: it’s one of those beautiful, colourful American warblers which birders of our generation dream of seeing one day in Britain.”

“It flew out of the tree and dropped down out of sight into the bushes. We looked at each other. Did we really see a Wilson’s Warbler?”

Soon after, the bird vanished but as the news broke on Rare Bird Alert, it reappeared and has been delighting a small army of birdwatchers aware of its near legendary status over the last three days.