The Isle of Man Christmas Bird Race

Christmas Bird Race recording sheet 2016
Click to download your Christmas Bird Race recording sheet 2016

Christmas Tree

The Isle of Man Christmas Bird Race is an island-wide collaborative effort. It isn’t a competition between individual birdwatchers. The aim is for birdwatchers on (and around) the island to work together to see as many species as possible.

See the table below which will be updated regularly.

The rules are simple:

  • You can spend as little or as much time as you wish looking for birds on, above and around the island within Manx territorial waters
  • Sightings must be made in the 7-day period from Christmas Day to the year’s end (00:00 on 25/12/2016 to 24:00 on 31/12/2016)
  • It isn’t a competition! The aim is for everyone collectively to see as many species as possible
Jenny Shanley“I like to do my Christmas Bird Race counting in the morning when the birds are actively foraging. It’s very relaxing and sometimes I get a species new to me. Plenty of warm tea helps. Good luck!”

Jenny Shanley
Manx BirdLife Volunteer

Submit your sightings by:

For all observations, please send your name, date, location, what you saw (species, how many) and any interesting aspects of what you saw.

Please note: Taking part does not imply or grant permission to enter onto any private property. Please consider the welfare of birds and other wildlife when taking part. Thank you.

Christmas Bird Race results (25-31 December 2016)

Official result: Well done … and thank you to everyone who took part. The Christmas Bird Race 2016 was a record breaker, with 113 species of wild bird observed on the island during Christmas week!


#Common name201620152014201320122011
SPECIES TOTAL113111108100109103
1Mute Swan25 DecYYYYY
2Whooper Swan26 DecYYYYY
3Pink-footed Goose27 DecNNNNN
4White-fronted GooseNNNNNN
5Greylag Goose25 DecYYYYY
6Canada Goose25 DecYYYYY
7Barnacle Goose28 DecYNYYN
8Brent Goose25 DecYYYYY
9Shelduck26 DecYYYYY
10Wigeon25 DecYYYYY
11Gadwall28 DecYYYYY
12Teal25 DecYYYYY
13Mallard25 DecYYYYY
14Pintail28 DecYNYNN
15Shoveler28 DecYYYNY
16Pochard28 DecNYYYY
17Tufted Duck27 DecYYYYY
19Eider25 DecYYYYY
20King EiderNNNNNN
21Long-tailed DuckNNNNYN
22Common Scoter28 DecNNNYY
23Velvet ScoterNNNNNN
24Goldeneye27 DecYYYYY
26Red-breasted Merganser25 DecYYYYY
27Goosander26 DecYYYYY
28Ruddy DuckNNNNNN
29Red Grouse26 DecYYNYN
30Red-legged Partridge30 DecYYNYY
31Grey PartridgeNNNNNN
32Pheasant27 DecYYYYY
33Red-throated Diver26 DecYYYYY
34Black-throated Diver27 DecYNYNN
35Great Northern Diver27 DecYYYYY
36Little Grebe27 DecYYYYY
37Great Crested GrebeNNNNNY
38Fulmar25 DecYYYYY
39Manx ShearwaterNNNNNN
40Gannet26 DecYYYYY
41Cormorant26 DecYYYYY
42Shag25 DecYYYYY
44Little Egret25 DecYYYYY
45Grey Heron25 DecYYYYY
46Hen Harrier25 DecYYYYY
47Sparrowhawk25 DecYYYYY
48Buzzard28 DecYYYYY
49Kestrel27 DecYYYYY
50Merlin26 DecYYYYY
51Peregrine25 DecYYYYY
52Water Rail28 DecY?NNN
53Moorhen26 DecYYYYY
54Coot27 DecYYYYY
55Oystercatcher25 DecYYYYY
56Ringed Plover25 DecYYYYY
57Golden Plover27 DecYYYYY
58Grey Plover25 DecYYYYY
59Lapwing30 DecYYYYY
60Knot30 DecYNNNN
61Sanderling26 DecYYYYY
62Purple Sandpiper25 DecYYNYY
63Dunlin25 DecyYYYY
64Jack Snipe26 DecYYNYN
65Snipe26 DecYYYYY
66Woodcock28 DecYYNYN
67Black-tailed GodwitNNNNNN
68Bar-tailed Godwit26 DecYYYNN
69Curlew25 DecYYYYY
70Common SandpiperNNNNNN
71Redshank25 DecYYYYY
72Turnstone25 DecYYYYY
73Red-necked PhalaropeNNNNNN
74Grey PhalaropeNNNNNN
75Sabine's GullNNNNNN
76Kittiwake26 DecYYYYY
77Black-headed Gull25 DecYYYYY
78Mediterranean GullNNNNNN
79Common Gull27 DecYYYYY
80Lesser Black-backed GullNYYNNN
81Herring Gull25 DecYYYYY
82Yellow-legged GullNNNNNN
83Iceland GullNNNNNN
84Glaucous GullNNNNNN
85Great Black-backed Gull26 DecYYYYY
88Guillemot28 DecYYNYY
89Razorbill28 DecYYYYY
90Black Guillemot25 DecYYYYY
91Little AukNNNNNN
93Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon25 DecYYYYY
94Stock DoveNNNNNN
95Woodpigeon25 DecYYYYY
96Collared Dove25 DecYYYYY
97Barn OwlNYNYYY
98Tawny OwlNNNNNN
99Long-eared OwlNNNNNN
100Short-eared OwlNYNNNN
101Kingfisher27 DecYNNYN
102Great Spotted Woodpecker26 DecYYNYY
103Skylark28 DecNYYNN
104Meadow Pipit27 DecYYYYY
105Rock Pipit25 DecYYYYY
106Water PipitNNYNNN
107Grey Wagtail25 DecYYYYY
108Pied Wagtail25 DecYYYYY
109Waxwing26 DecNNNYN
111Wren26 DecYYYYY
112Dunnock25 DecYYYYY
113Robin25 DecYYYYY
114Black Redstart27 DecNYYNN
115Stonechat26 DecYYYYY
116Blackbird25 DecYYYYY
117Fieldfare25 DecYYyYY
118Song Thrush26 DecYYYYY
119Redwing25 DecYYYYY
120Mistle Thrush25 DecYYYYY
121Blackcap25 DecYYYYY
122Yellow-browed WarblerNNNNNN
124Goldcrest26 DecYYYYY
125Long-tailed Tit25 DecYYYYY
126Blue Tit25 DecYYYYY
127Great Tit25 DecYYYYY
128Coal Tit25 DecYYYYY
129Treecreeper27 DecYYYYY
130Great Grey ShrikeNNNNNN
131Magpie25 DecYYYYY
132Chough25 DecYYYYY
133Jackdaw25 DecYYYYY
134Rook25 DecYYYYY
135Carrion Crow25 DecYYYYY
136Hooded Crow25 DecYYYYY
137Raven26 DecYYYYY
138Starling25 DecYYYYY
139House Sparrow25 DecYYYYY
140Tree Sparrow25 DecYYNYY
141Chaffinch25 DecYYYYY
142Brambling26 DecNYYYN
143Greenfinch25 DecYYYYY
144Goldfinch25 DecYYYYY
145Siskin25 DecYYYYY
146Linnet26 DecYYYYY
147Twite27 DecYYYYY
148Lesser Redpoll25 DecYYNYY
149Mealy RedpollNNNNNN
150Arctic RedpollNNNNNN
151Common CrossbillNNNNNN
152Lapland BuntingNNNNNN
153Snow BuntingNNNNNN
155Reed BuntingNYYYYY


Black Swan

As of December 2016, Black Swan Cygnus atratus has been removed from the Christmas Bird Race list. The species totals from previous years have been adjusted to reflect that this Category E species is no longer included in the counts.


The ‘ones that got away’ included ten species that had been recorded on the Isle of Man in December 2013 before the Bird Race, but weren’t seen during it: Pink-footed Goose, Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Water Rail, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Kingfisher, Swallow, Lesser Redpoll, Snow Bunting; a Ross’s x Barnacle Goose hybrid was also recorded. There were also eight species that breed on the Island and were likely to have been present somewhere on the Island but weren’t seen during the Bird Race: Red Grouse, Grey Partridge, Woodcock, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chiffchaff and Tree Sparrow.

The weather during 2013’s Christmas Bird Race did not help at all. On Boxing Day Ronaldsway Met Office recorded gale force winds, increasing to Severe Gale Force 9 on 27th. The maximum wind recorded on each of the other dates was Force 6. On both 30th and 31st there was significant rainfall during daylight hours – enough to dampen birds as well as birdwatchers!


The ‘ones that got away’ include nine species that had been recorded on the Isle of Man in December 2011 before the Bird Race, but weren’t seen during it: Barnacle Goose, Pintail, Black-throated Diver, Manx Shearwater, Water Rail, Kingfisher, Brambling, Common Crossbill and Snow Bunting. This list also includes 8 species that breed on the island and were likely to have been present somewhere on the Island but weren’t seen during the Bird Race: Red Grouse, Grey Partridge, Woodcock, Stock Dove, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Skylark and Chiffchaff.

103 species is a good result. If the ‘ones that got away’ are taken into consideration, along with various other possible species such as Knot and Waxwing, it suggests that it may be possible in a good year to get over 110 species – possibly closer to 120. But for that to happen a certain amount of luck is needed (good weather and co-operative birds!) as well as a considerable amount of hard work by birdwatchers.

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