The 2019 summary of the Bittern Breeding season in the UK by Simon Wotton is now available on the 'miscellaneous' section of the articles.
During these cold winter months (did I forget to add wet in there too?) its always nice to get some warmth from ready a trip report from somewhere closer too the equator and preferably filled with birds, and Chris and Vicky Harper's North-east Yukutan Peninsula report from 2016 does just that!
So, put yourself some time aside and delve in, feel the warm and imagine those birds. Get yourself over the to the North American trip reports now!
I don't suppose you've ever wondered what the very small number of Greater Manchester Bird Recording Group (GMBRG) officials do with your bird records outside maybe the County Bird Report (which is far from dead, contrary to popular belief!) but let's pretend just for a minute, that you did.
Well, the following document gives you just some idea of the work that YOUR bird records go towards (well, those that take the time to send theirs in anyway), work that is immensely valuable and more often than not, entirely essential!
We do of course always welcome observer's records and anyone wanting to contribute should refer to the 'Record Submission' section of this website or direct their queries to either myself or Steve Atkins (details on the 'Who's Who' page).
Either way, please take the small amount of time it takes to read the newsletter and associated documents and if you don't already, then consider the valuable work your bird records could be doing.
All the very best, Ian
Considering the propensity of county gull roosts and their dedicated band of observers over the years, it has always been somewhat surprising that Bonaparte's Gull has never been claimed, never mind officially accepted, anywhere in the county. It has not been for the want of trying either but finally, the duck (well, gull...) has been broken.
On January 26th, 2019 Heaton Park Reservoir hosted the first ever record of Bonaparte's Gull, now accepted by BBRC, and became the 319th species to be officially recorded in the county. Congratulations to the two lucky, or at the very least observant observers, Pete Berry and Simon Johnson.
Cetti’s Warbler was first recorded in the county back in autumn 2007 and since then has expanded its range, albeit very slowly, but it remains a genuinely very rare bird away from its stronghold of the Wigan Flashes to Pennington Flash ‘corridor’ with more recent records away from here including Hope Carr NR and Worsley Filtration Lagoons. Given this, it has always rightly been a county rarity and required a submission to be provided to the county rarities committee.
Given that obtaining a description of any Cetti’s is difficult enough due to their generally very elusive nature, this has hampered submissions to the committee of ‘new’ individuals and yet their distinctive and usually often given song generally immediately identifies them. With county birders becoming increasingly familiar with the song of this species and in order to fully appreciate and record their status and distribution in the county, the county rarities committee unanimously voted to remove the requirement for a submission to be provided to the committee for singing birds only.
Non-singing birds will still require a submission to be provided to the committee though and with proven mis-identifications occurring even recently in the county, the committee felt this was entirely necessary and justified.
We strongly urge records of singing birds to be formally submitted to the Greater Manchester Bird Recording Group though, so a clear picture of their status and distribution can be maintained, along with any necessary conservation of areas they may occur in. Anyone fortunate enough to encounter a Cetti’s away from their core range in the county should therefore contact the county recorder or consult the record submission page.
All the best, Ian
There are trip report and there are TRIP REPORTS, and this new one, on Cuba by John Rayner, is definitely the latter!
Lavishly illustrated and a wonderful read, kick back and set aside some time to transport to yourself to the beautiful island.
They're big files, so may take a few minutes to download but are well worth the wait! Nip across to the trip reports pages now.
The British Birds Rarities Committee has added two species to its list of those requiring submissions and also removed two species at the same time.
So, as of 1st January 2019, the following species have been added and will now require a submission to BBRC, regardless of the identification of birds to sub-specific level:
The following species have been removed from BBRC's list and will now be assessed by the Greater Manchester Rarities Committee:
One of the county's more remarkable, most well-watched and most difficult to identify species was added to the official county bird list after Phil Rhodes found and acrocephalus warbler at Hope Carr, near Leigh, on 20th January 2019. The bird was subsequently identified as a Blyth's Reed Warbler and the rest is as they say...history!
This would have been easily the most difficult species the county rarities committee might ever have had to assess were it not for the many excellent and tremendously instructive images that were obtained by many photographers and not least to the fact that the bird remained present on site for so long and often allowed fantastic close views.
Hands up all those who predicted a Blyth's Reed Warbler on an old smelly sewage works in a little ex-mining town in inland north-west England in the middle of winter? So, that's no one then...
Yet another trip report to transport you to somewhere warmer, albeit in the UK but still, the Farne Islands in June will do nicely in the depth of our winter! Go to the trip report pages and enjoy!