The Isle of Man Christmas Bird Race 2020 - results

Mark Fitzpatrick, Secretary of the Manx Ringing Group and Sightings Coordinator for the Isle of Man Christmas Bird Race 2020, summarises this year's record-equalling tally:

Mark Fitzpatrick
Mark Fitzpatrick

'Blein Vie Noa to you all.

Here is a summary of this year's Isle of Man Christmas Bird Race.

Black Redstart, Strandhall, Dec 2020 (Neil G. Morris)
Black Redstart, Strandhall, Dec 2020 (Neil G. Morris)

The record-equalling 116 species recorded were: Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, Brent Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Eider, Common Scoter (see image), Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, Red-legged Partridge, Red Grouse, Pheasant, Red-throated Diver, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Fulmar, Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin, Purple Sandpiper, Redshank, Jack Snipe, Woodcock, Snipe, Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Guillemot, Kittiwake, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Long-eared Owl, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine, Chough, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Hooded Crow, Raven, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Skylark, Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Treecreeper, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Brambling, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Twite, Lesser Redpoll, Goldfinch, Siskin, Snow Bunting and Reed Bunting.

Twite, Scarlett, Dec 2020 (Neil G. Morris)
Twite, Scarlett, Dec 2020 (Neil G. Morris)

Eighty-seven species have been seen in all 10 Bird Races: Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Brent Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Eider, Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, Pheasant, Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Fulmar, Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Curlew, Turnstone, Sanderling, Dunlin, Redshank, Snipe, Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine, Chough, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Hooded Crow, Raven, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Blackcap, Treecreeper, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Stonechat, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and Siskin.

Here are some more facts and figues:

  • Of the species seen this year, Snow Bunting is the least recorded during Bird Races, with this year being the second time only.
  • 466 different sightings of 107 species were submitted via the Manx BirdLife Sightings page. (Some other sightings came in via different means).
  • The most commonly reported species was Robin, with 16 reports.
  • The site with the most reports was Ballanelson Nurseries, with 26 reports.
  • 42 different observers used the Manx BirdLife Sightings page.
Common Scoter, Peel, Dec 2020 (Neil G. Morris)
Common Scoter, Peel, Dec 2020 (Neil G. Morris)

Of the 'ones that got away' (birds not found this year), Barn Owl was the biggest disappointment as it has been seen in seven previous Bird Races. It would have been nice if one of the more unusual gulls had turned up in Peel or a Crossbill had been seen in one of the plantations. However, this is what birdwatching is all about, the sense of what might just turn up - or not. Nothing is really guaranteed but the impossible may actually happen!

Thank you to everyone who sent in their photos. These can be found on the Manx BirdLife Sightings Gallery.

Do keep on looking out for wildlife. And please, do keep sending in your reports via the Manx BirdLife Sightings page.'