Christmas Bird Race – less than a week to go!

Manx BirdLife is holding its fourth annual Christmas Bird Race. Between midnight on Christmas Eve, right through to midnight on New Year’s Eve, the aim is to see what species of birds can be found in the Isle of Man.

For more details, see the Christmas Bird Race 2014 page here. A handy information and recording sheet can be downloaded here.

The numbers of species recorded in each of the previous Christmas Bird Races is:

  • 2013 – 101 species
  • 2012 – 110 species
  • 2011 – 103 species

More news nearer the start of the Bird Race, but why not plan to make some trips now?

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Manx bird report for the week ending on 7th Dec 2014

Please find below with the full details of the sightings reported during week ending 7th December.

The total number of species reported in 2014 by the end of this week remains at 173, as no additional species were reported this week. See here for the full list of what has been reported.

During January 2015 we will be transitioning the a new way of reporting sightings. We will tell you all about it once the new sightings website is set up. Until then, please continue to send in your observations and photographs using the usual form.

Many thanks for the all the observations and photos sent in.

 

Species Number Location / Details Date Observer
Whooper Swan 50 Ballacrye Road 01-Dec Pauline & Michael Howland
Whooper Swan 8 (2 Adults, 1 2nd yr, 5 this year birds) Bayr Ny Killane 04-Dec Fred Hodgson
Brent Goose 40 (Pale Bellied) Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Shelduck 7 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Wigeon 12 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Teal 70 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Eider 8 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Red-breasted Merganser 1 F Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Goosander 2 Eairy Dam 06-Dec Wendy Gawne & Pete Hadfield
Hen Harrier 2 (Female & Immature) Stinking Dubh 01-Dec Tim Earl
Kestrel 1 Stinking Dubh 01-Dec Tim Earl
Merlin 1 Point of Ayre 07-Dec Wendy Gawne & Pete Hadfield
Red-throated Diver 1 Point of Ayre 07-Dec Wendy Gawne & Pete Hadfield
Great Northern Diver 1 Fort Island 30-Nov Peter Christian
Great Northern Diver 1 Point of Ayre 07-Dec Wendy Gawne & Pete Hadfield
Cormorant 3 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Shag 6 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Little Egret 3 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Little Egret 3 Stinking Dubh 01-Dec Tim Earl
Grey Heron 1 Minorca, Laxey 27-Nov Roy Cripps
Grey Heron 3 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Oystercatcher 80 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Purple Sandpiper 31 Port St Mary 06-Dec Wendy Gawne & Pete Hadfield
Snipe 1 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Woodcock 2 South Barrule Quarry 03-Dec Richard Selman
Curlew 120 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Redshank 5 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Turnstone 8 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Black-headed Gull 17 Point of Ayre 30-Nov Fred Hodgson
Black-headed Gull 60 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Rock Pipit 2 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Grey Wagtail 1 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Stonechat 5 Point of Ayre 30-Nov Fred Hodgson
Blackcap 1 Minorca, Laxey 24-Nov Roy Cripps
Treecreeper 1 Minorca, Laxey 24-Nov Roy Cripps
Chough 20 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Raven 1 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
Starling 40 Stinking Dubh 29-Nov Tim Earl
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Grey Phalaropes Visit the Isle of Man

Written by James Walker 
Grey Phalarope - Sandwick, Langness - 09 11 2014. Photo: Geoff & Debbie Smith

Grey Phalarope – Sandwick, Langness – 09 11 2014. Photo: Geoff & Debbie Smith

The rarest birds to be seen on the island in 2014 with only eleven records since 2000 left it late, but it was great to have them around! First seen on the 9th of November at Langness, the two Grey Phalaropes stayed for ten days and provided close up views for many birders on the island. Lots of excellent photographs were taken.

 

Grey Phalaropes breed in the high Arctic, and spend a significant proportion of the year out at sea. The more colourful female leaves the male bird on incubation duties and to raise chicks.

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Grey Phalarope – Sandwick, Langness – 09 11 2014. Photo: Geoff & Debbie Smith

 

Sightings of individuals around the coasts of the UK, the Isle of Man and Ireland are the result of birds being blown off course in storms. There are around 200 records each year in the UK, so putting into perspective the size of its coastline compared to the island; it is a special sighting indeed.  Whilst at Langness, the two birds may well have had to revert to a diet of small aquatic creatures and insects given the mild weather conditions and the fact that marine plankton would be less numerous so close to the shore.

 

 

Grey Phalarope - Sandwick, Langness - 09 11 2014. Photo: Geoff & Debbie Smith

Grey Phalarope – Sandwick, Langness – 09 11 2014. Photo: Geoff & Debbie Smith

Should this week strong winds fail to provide us with an equally exciting rarity, here’s hoping for 2015!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

List of historical Grey Phalarope sightings in the Isle of Man

Date
1KmSq
Square Name
Count
10/10/1999
SC1766
The Sound
2
15/12/2000
SC2168
Chapel Bay - Port St Mary
1
23/12/2000
SC2168
Chapel Bay - Port St Mary
1
04/02/2001
SC2867
Derbyhaven
1
11/09/2004
SC1566
Calf of Man
2
01/10/2005
SC1666
Calf of Man
1
09/11/2005
NX4303
Ayres Visitor Centre
1
20/08/2008
SC2584
Peel Bay - East
1
06/09/2008
NX4605
Point of Ayre
1
14/11/2008
SC2867
Sandwick, Langness
1
23/11/2009
SC2484
Peel Bay
1
09/11/2014
SC2867
Sandwick, Langness
2
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