Some visitors of the Manchester Birding Forum may receive a security alert message from your internet search engine when trying to connect to the forum, informing you that basically the site may be being impersonated (having been hacked). I can confirm that this is NOT the case and the forum is working perfectly normally, in fact, better than ever!
On other 28th September the forum hosting company automatically enabled SSL secure encryption on the forum, which will be much more secure for anyone using it, although the forum never has and never will hold personal data on any of its users anyway. When now using older (cached) pages of the forum, search engines recognise that they are not the newly existing SSL versions and believe them to be possible imitations which is giving rise to the security messages. For me (I initially got the security message too!), just connecting to the new site has cleared any problems but perhaps clearing your cache may be an option too.
Details of the upgrade from the hosting company are below:
In continuation with our push towards an increasingly secure ActiveBoard environment, we're now planning to enable TLS/SSL encryption (HTTPS) on all forums on September 28th, 2018.
HTTPS ensures that transmitted data is private, and protects against eavesdropping attacks. It also helps prevent tampering with requests, and injection of malicious advertisements or code into the pages you view. Additionally, HTTPS enabled forums should also see an small increase in Google search rankings, as they have indicated that HTTPS sites will be favoured over HTTP sites.
During mid-September 2017, a juvenile Baird’s Sandpiper was present at White Holme Reservoir in West Yorkshire and was seen by many birders. Its immediate proximity to the Greater Manchester border always gave some hope of it appearing within the county and the 14th and 15th of September that was realised after the bird was seen within Greater Manchester at Warland Reservoir on the 14th and flying over county airspace on the 15th. This constituted the first ever record for the county (both BBRC accepted), though only four observers were fortunate enough to add this bird to their county life lists.
Baird's Sandpiper at Warland Reservoir, Greater Manchester, 14th September 2017 by Andy Makin
Due to issues on site with regards to fishing disturbance around or near to the conservation area of the islands and adjacent shore on the east side of the reservoir (and accessed via the footpath from Beaumont Road), there has now been a seasonal access restriction on this length of banking adjacent to the islands between 1st April and 15th July (inclusive).
During this period there will be no access to birdwatchers (fishermen or anyone else for that matter) and a temporary sign will be put up on the bank, but in order to not only reduce disturbance to breeding birds but to also to maintain relations with the fishing club and support the work which has gone into bringing about this agreement, I would ask that any birdwatchers or photographers visiting the eastern side of the site respect this restriction and avoid the shore adjacent to the islands.
The restricted area is illustrated on the image below.
Craig Higson and Rob McHale broke out of county during May 2018 and managed to escape all the way up to Scotland before capture.
Craig has recounted their escapades in a great little trip report which can be found on the trip report page of this website but is now unfortunately being punished with solitary confinement and hard labour counting dog turds at Viridor Wood. Unlucky Craig...
The Rare Breeding Birds Panel (RBBP) have made the following changes to the list of rare breeding birds:
CETTI'S WARBLER will no longer be reported by RBBP from 2016 onwards. Of course, within Greater Manchester it remains an extremely rare breeder and reporting any breeding activity (possible, probable or confirmed) to the Greater Manchester Bird recording Group (GMBRG) or Greater Manchester Ecology Unit (GMEU) is essential for us to monitor their status and spread.
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER will now be reported by RBBP from the 2017 breeding season onwards.
Reporting occurrences of any rare breeding birds, and indeed any birds at all (!), can be achieved via the 'Record Submission' page of this website. Ideally though, any rare breeding birds should be reported to the County Recorder ASAP.
With ever growing conservation issues, queries and concern in the county I am very pleased to announce the appointment of a Conservation Officer to assist with such matters and welcome Craig Higson to his post within the group.
Craig has had an interest in wildlife for as long as he can remember but his interest in birds came to the fore from the age of about 10 years old, with his first visit to Pennington Flash as early as 1984 during an organised school visit. Whilst he enjoys birding around the north-west and often further afield, not least spending a couple of weeks each year at his favourite UK birding location of Spurn, most of his birding is done in the county, usually around Wigan or the Horwich Moors. He has been lucky enough to spend most of his working life working in the conservation and environmental sector and even lived the dream working as a Ranger at Pennington Flash for a number of years!
Craig’s contact details can be found on the Who’s Who page.
Greater Manchester's rare gull records are brought up to date with the latest round of County Rarities Committee, Gulls Sub-committee assessment results.
The latest round of a submitted county rarity decision which have been assessed by the County rarities Committee have now been published to the 'record submission' page. These include all the Hawfinches from the autumn 2017 'invasion' we have received so far, so please, if you haven't submitted one you saw yet, send it in to us; that goes for any other county rarities you may have seen in the past few years too as we warmly welcome them all.
The rarities committee is now up to date with all but gulls which are undergoing a process of mass assessment (there are a lot of them!) and decisions are expected within the next couple of weeks. Once these are published, all new decisions will be notified with a red 'added date' after them (which will remain for a month or so before deletion) to make new decisions easier to identify.
Tired of the cold and rain at the moment? Fancy some sun in an exotic location with some equally exotic birds thrown in? Well, get away from it all if only for 20 minutes, by diving into John Rayner's new two part trip report to Sri Lanka in January 2018.
Grab yourself a nice cup of tea, stick one of those little pink umbrellas into it, kick back and take yourself to the Asia section of the Trip Reports page and imagine you were there!
Some of the more eagle eyed visitors to this website may have already noticed that county rarities submitted to the County Rarity Committee now have the outcome of their assessment published within its pages. It has been something I've been working (quietly) on for a while now but the submitted rarity decisions are now up to date. There are many records still currently in circulation thought and so if your record isn't on there then that's probably where it will be but please do feel free to contact me just to check if needs be. The page will be regularly updated as soon as decisions are made so make sure you check them frequently.
The page can be found under 'Record Submission' page and then the 'Submitted Rarity Decisions' tab and also attempts to give an explanation to why any submissions may have been found not proven but I will always endeavour to discuss it further with any observer should they contact me for additional clarification. The committee always warmly welcomes submissions of county rarities, not least as if they are not officially ratified by it they can form no part of the official county bird record database (and so are not published in the county bird report or form part of any historical record), are not used in important national surveys and reports and cannot be used in conservation work or planning objections within the county.