Monday, 17 February 2014

Another Nobirds Debacle

Everytime I look at Nobirds I do with a sense of dread, mainly because you don't know what dung they will come out with next. They must have bought an extra big tin of horlicks and a packet of Jammy Dodgers and had a meeting and decided to write something on the Glossy Ibis influx.  Up to this point we can't fault them but then they decided to get one of their six year old neighbours kids to write it! Not a good idea.
What they have come up with is amatuerish, almost illiterate, ambigious and embarrasing, this kind of sums them up, You do wonder what the frame of reference was for the tripe: imformative, factual and you must mention a flooded field and a funny Curlew! But whichever six old they got to pen it will be called before the committee and will be put over the Chairmans knee and given six of the best with the last Nobirds report, but he will be allowed to keep his Captain Fantastic underpants on. For the next month a strict diet of vegetarian Lasagne and Soya milk will be enforced but on Sundays a special treat of Vegetarian Shepherds Pie will be served. Week days will be spent writing lines "Nobirds Killed The Ruddy Ducks" and weekends will be spent taking photos of common birds at a bird feeder for the blog. It will be scary!
Even more frightening is maybe the brains trust behind the Nobirds blog done a collaboration on this one, heaven help us!
Why do we care? we dont!

Glossy Ibis Influx into Northern Ireland 2014.

Glossy Ibis is the most widespread ibis species, breeding in scattered sites in warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Atlanntic and Cribbean region of the Americas  This species is migratory; most European birds winter in Africa. Birds from other populations may disperse widely outside the breeding season. While generally declining in Europe it has recently established a breeding colony in Southern Spain, and there appears to be a growing trend for the Spanish birds to winter in Britain and Ireland. A second winter bird observed at the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve from 1st - 18th January 2008 had been ringed as a nestling at a colony in Foa, Donana, Southern Spian on 3rd June 2006. Ringed individuals observed at Killag and Tacumshin both Wexford in 2009 had also been ringed in Donana and this area seems to be the most likely origin off our birds in Northern Ireland
Glossy Ibis feed in very shallow water and nest in freshwater or brackish wetlands with tall dense stands of emergent vegetation such as reeds, papyrus or rushes, and low trees or bushes. They show a preference for marshes at the margins of lakes and rivers but can also be found at lagoons, flood plains, wet meadows, swamps, reservoirs, sewage ponds, paddies and irrigated farmland. It is less commonly found in coastal locations such as estuaries, deltas, salt marshes and coastal lagoons. Preferred roosting sites are normally in large trees which may distant from the feeding areas.

The first signs of a possible Glossy Ibis influx did not occur in Northern Ireland but just over the border in Donegal.  2 bird's were found at Dunfanghy on 17th December and were last seen on 20th December.  Another was found on dead on nearby Tory Island on 18th December and finally a single was found a few miles from the Derry border at Inch Lake on 30th December staying to 1st January.
There was an obvious influx of Glossy Ibis elsewhere in Southern Ireland with eighteen birds (not including Donegal birds) found during December 2013.
There have been six Northern Ireland records during this period matching the influx of six birds in 1853. How many birds are involved is unclear as snone are ringed but we see no reason not to treat them as six individuls.
The records are listed below:
Knockninny, Derrylin Co.Fermanagh 5th January
Ballycarry, Larne 19th January to 13th February (although it was probably present for up to a month)
Downpatrick, Marshes 19th January
Kinnegoe 27th January - 17th February
Killough, Co.Down 22nd January
Lough Cowey, Poraferry 13th February

The first Glossy Ibis recorded in Northern Ireland was a bird shot at the Bog Meadows in Belfast on 30th September 1819. In 1853 at Bushmills Co.Antrim one bird was shot from a flock of six!! Next up was another gun victim an immature male shot at Twin Islands, Belfast Harbour Co.Down on 7th September 1906 and in the same year another was seen in "Londonderry"
The next record was in 1921 when one was seen on Lough Neagh, Co.Antrim on 28th February 1921 and the last "old" record was of a bird at Monlough Lake, Co.Dowwn on 5th - 6th June 1944
The first "modern" record was a bird found by David Steele at Lough Beg on 17th September 2010 with presumeaably the same bird at Kiltagh Flats, Lough Neagh Co.Tyrone on 27th September- 15th October although an open mind should be kept on the second record, could it have been a different bird?
Luckily we didnt have long to wait for the first twitchable Glossy Ibis as Brad Robson found a bird at Colebroke River, Lisneaskea, Co.Fermanagh on 15th June which stayed to 21st June.

So there you have it, Andrew thinks Nobirds are so crap that he says he is going to do another bird report, in fact he said he made a start at the weekend! Dont do it Andrew!

When the Oxford Island Glossy Ibis was asked what he thought of the Nobirds lot, he ssinmply replied!

Thanks to James O'Neill for the great photo!