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!
Still cold outside...
So, whilst it's still cold outside why not take yourself to a sunnier clime and enjoy Andy Bissitt's trip report of Peru in November and December 2018.
Find it on the Trip Reports page and enjoy!
it may be cold outside...
It may be cold outside at the moment, but in Southern India in August its not, plus its also full of some very special birds too.
So, grab yourself a brew, put your feet up and treat yourself to a read of Chris and Vicky Harper's trip report of their adventures to Southern India in August 2018.
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.