On the 1st of April 2022 reports of a fictus avian named the Colussus Humming Bird (Gigas Numenius) caused twitchers from across the UK to descend en masse to Burley in Wharfedale, West Yorkshire. 


On a plot of greenbelt earmarked for 500 new houses, digging work had to stop as over-zealous birders posed too much of a hazard for work to continue. With only one other  sighting recorded back in 1867 in Peterborough, the excitement among the crowd was immeasurable. 

Thought to be a key evolutionary link between the flightless Kiwi found on the continent of Australia and the agile hummingbirds of the Americas, the colossus hummingbird could be the discovery of the century. If seen again that is. Upon the arrival of the keen twitchers, the seemingly mythical creature vanished as quickly as it appeared. 

The well-travelled bird lovers didn’t go home disappointed though, as they were treated to the spectacular sights and sounds of Curlew preparing for nesting season, death-defying flight displays of pee-wits (or lapwing) and the haunting glide of two barn owls preparing to nest. All to the musical backdrop of chiffchaff, tree sparrows, finches and the plethora of feathered beasts that line the trees and hedgerow here. Waiting to disappear. 

Colossus Hummingbird (Gigas Numenius) Spotted Over Sun Lane Development PlotSeparating Fact from Fiction

If you made it this far, well done and thank you! I know you’ll have guessed this is a fairly lame April fool. Though it is actually a sad April fool. Sad because all but the Colossus Hummingbird can be found at this site. Sad because as I write, two diggers rest waiting to begin manoeuvres. Excavating the same ground at the same time as Curlew and Lapwing look to procreate and raise their young. The same habitat the resting Barn Owl will be hunting and growing their family in. All soon to be erased. No, this isn’t a fun April Fool, it’s a Shakespearean tragedy. 

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