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Keen bird watchers are being advised to keep an eye out for an unusual visitor to Kintyre – a flock of pink flamingos, which has returned to the area for the first time in eight years.
Those with ornithophobia need not fear, however, as the colourful visitors, which could make a surprise appearance anywhere in the area, are made of plastic and are intended to bring nothing but joy.
The ‘flamingo flocking’ initiative first took flight in 2013 as a fundraising campaign for CGS4Gambia, a charity set up to teach senior students at Campbeltown Grammar School about global citizenship through volunteering in Gambia.
In return for a donation to the charity, the flock would be planted, in the early hours of the morning, in the gardens of nominated Kintyre residents who would awake to find that they had been ‘flocked’.
Alternatively, those who wanted to prevent being flocked could purchase ‘anti-flamingo insurance’ from CGS4Gambia.
The initiative proved extremely popular in the charity’s early days, with the flamingos appearing at community events including Campbeltown Malts Festival and the Mull of Kintyre 10K and Half-Marathon Race as well as in people’s gardens and outside businesses.
Following a season in Kintyre, the birds took off to enjoy retirement but, after the last year which could be described as somewhat dull, they are making a welcome return, bringing with them a bit of much-needed colour.
They have already been spotted near Tayinloan, at Point Sands Holiday Park, where flamingo fan Rosie celebrated her fourth birthday at the family caravan during the recent sunny bank holiday weekend.
As well as making the birthday girl’s special day even brighter, the flamingos, which were spotted on the beach and on lawns around the park, brought a smile to the faces of the other holiday park caravan owners.
A CGS4Gambia spokesperson said: ‘We can’t thank Rosie’s family enough for the incredible pictures they sent us, they are fabulous!
‘Due to Covid-19, we, like other charities, have been unable to fund-raise in the last year. We decided this is something we can do safely, while also making the community smile, just like the previous flock did, eight whole years ago.
‘Please get in touch if you would like further details.’
To find out how to get involved with the latest ‘flamingo flocking’ campaign, email Agnes Stewart on Ags1968@yahoo.com, telephone 07825 952537 or contact the @CGS4Gambia Facebook page.