Manx BirdLife celebrates a year under new leadership


photo_dora MBLThis June marks one year since Dora Querido took the helm of Manx BirdLife, following her move from the RSPB.

Dora says much progress has made over the last 12 months, but there’s still work to be done to bring the charity up to speed with technology and to secure more stable funding.

“We’ve had a much needed upgrade of our computer system and software to process data more efficiently, and our fantastic volunteers have got us up to date in entering the records from our Big Garden Birdwatch scheme into the database,” she explained.

“They have also played a major role in processing public bird sightings but further work is crucial to leave behind the heavy manually handled processes we still have in place in a world that expects instant access to information.”

The next key objective for Manx BirdLife is to secure financial stability through corporate and personal sponsorships, as well as strategic partnerships with projects and charities across the UK. These will be similar to the collaboration established this year with the Hen Harrier LIFE+ project that will be satellite tagging a juvenile hen harrier on the Isle of Man, thanks to financial support from the local Society for the Preservation of the Manx Countryside (SPMC).

Meanwhile, thanks to funding from DEFA, 100 per cent of the Isle of Man will be surveyed for breeding birds – for just the second time in 20 years.

As a result, Manx BirdLife will be able to produce another Bird Atlas to document population and distribution changes. Once trends become clear, the charity will look at how it can best work in partnership with others to help halt and reverse declines where possible.

Offers of sponsorship and volunteer help are always gratefully received. If you can help in any way, please email dora [at] or call 01624 861130.

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Fewer reports then expected this week. Interesting sighting of the week is the Little Egret. Also species of note is the Treecreeper which is heavily unreported on the island and a report of a Black Swan, although not native and probably an escape, still interesting to see. there have also been sightings of Hen Harrier and Peregrine although we do not put the location of these species. As always keep them coming in, we are always interested in what the public have seen!

Please find below a table with the details of the sightings sent to us during the week ending on 28th June 2015.

See here for the full list of species that have been reported this year.

The new bird reporting website has been delayed until further notice. Please continue to send in your observations and photographs using the usual form.

Many thanks to all the observers that have contributed to this week sightings



Wren with moth taken at Surby by Sheila Norris



20-Jun Gannet 1 Laxey Beach Lauren Read
19-Jun Gannet 1 Point of Ayre Rob Stubbs
19-Jun Cormorant 2 Peel harbour Lauren Read
23-Jun Little Egret 1 Pooil Vaish Graeme Healy
19-Jun Oystercatcher 4 Peel Shoreline Lauren Read
19-Jun Oystercatcher 2 Peel Hill Rob Stubbs
19-Jun Little Ringed Plover 1 Point of Ayre Rob Stubbs
19-Jun Curlew 1 Peel Hill Rob Stubbs
19-Jun Curlew 1 Point of Ayre Rob Stubbs
19-Jun Sandwich Tern 1 Peel Hill Rob Stubbs
19-Jun Guillemot 1 Peel Hill Rob Stubbs
19-Jun Razorbill 2 Peel Hill Rob Stubbs
26-Jun Black Guillemot 2 Peel harbour Rob Stubbs
23-Jun Great Spotted Woodpecker 2 Patrick Brian Partington
23-Jun Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 Orrisdale Kiirk Michael John Tedds
27-Jun Skylark 2 Ronaldsway Airport Norman McGregor Edwards
19-Jun Swallow 1 Point of Ayre Rob Stubbs
21-Jun Grey wagtail 2 Glen Maye Lauren Read
23-Jun Grey Wagtail 1 Sulby reservoir Rob Stubbs
19-Jun Pied Wagtail 1 Peel hill Rob Stubbs
22-Jun Wren 1 Surby, Rushen Sheila Norris
19-Jun Stonechat 1 Point of Ayre Rob Stubbs
23-Jun Treecreeper 1 Sulby reservoir Rob Stubbs
22-Jun Greenfinch 3 Laxey Marion Hasrings
19-Jun Linnet 8 Knockaloe Moar Lauren Read
23-Jun Black Swan 1 Pooil Vaish Graeme Healy
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Breeding Bird Surveying secured for the next two years

Written by James Walker, Media and Communications volunteer

Staff engaged in wildlife survey work, Forsinard Flows RSPB nature reserve, Sutherland, Highland region, Scotland, July 2013

Staff engaged in bird survey work. Taken by Andy Hay

Earlier this year in April, Manx BirdLife (MBL) was granted a contract for two years’ worth of breeding bird surveys for 10% of the island. This was granted by the Isle of Man government. These two years of funding will guarantee that 100% of the Isle of Man territory is surveyed for the second time in the last 20 years, allowing MBL to produce a repeated Atlas to document population and distribution changes. The 100% coverage for surveys is unique, helped by the relatively small size of the island and generous land owners granting access permissions.

Dora Querido, the current Chief Operating Officer, is happy with the progress so far, “Confirmation of funding for the final two years of surveys, a total of £39 000, was granted this April. Matthew, who has just finished an internship with the RSPB and Michael, previously with Natural England and before that working on a local farm began their breeding birds surveying contract in mid-April. Weather permitting the fieldwork should be finished by mid-July, so fingers crossed for a sunny summer!

So what has the repeat atlas found so far? “Some species have increased, including Goldfinch and Chaffinch. Out of 36 species classed as relatively common, 33 of them have recorded significant changes. It is not all good news, as Willow Warbler, Greenfinch and Robin all experienced declines over the past eight years. Once the surveys have been completed in 2016 it will be possible to see more details in the new atlas and thinking towards working in partnership to reverse declines where possible” says Dora.

Manx BirdLife, formerly known as Manx Bird Atlas was formed in 1997 by Chris Sharpe to research wintering and breeding bird populations on the Isle of Man. Surveys took place from 1998 to 2003, leading to the publishing of the first Manx Bird Atlas in 2007

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