Monday 7 June 2010


As if it has not been stressful enough, trying to get the bird id 100% confirmed before the news goes out and working out access, management etc. to allow people the opportunity of hearing the bird, now we have to contend with MUPPETS! I am beginning to hear rumours of tape lures and spotlights!

So let's just get this straight from the start, and I apologise for the minority of you that need this spelling out but - The likliness of seeing this bird is pretty much zero, it is purely a hearing experience. Under no circumstances can spotlights or tape lures be used as stated by the warden on Lundy. For those of you that don't know, spotlighting near a Manxie colony can quite easily lead to GBB Gulls predating Manxies, which they will often do long after sunset. Manxies do not need the hassle, particularly as they are just beginning to recover after the rat eradication.

SO to sum up, do not bother going to Lundy unless you are happy only hearing the bird!! End of................


  1. No surprises there Jaffa! The pager brigade will soon start a rumour than the gen is duff - afterall you haven't got a digital photo of it to prove it wuz one!!!!

    Do the Manxies on Lundy get fondled on an annual basis? And if so, should somebody happen to get this baby in the hand, could they slap a GPS thingamijig upon it?

    Nice find by the way, and I like the blog.

    Love and kisses from Bangkok


  2. It would be very interesting to put a GPS thingamijig on it. If they do- a spectator crowd at a safe and sensitive distance could be considered perhaps??

  3. Well said!! It's such a shame that some care far more about their own pointless list than the wellbeing of the bird! Great find for you both! It must have been an amazing experience!

  4. Well said Chris...

    You just have to go on TURDforum to see what all the twitching retards are already discussing.....

    I’m sure the general consensus from these ornithologically challenged pricks, is that this bird must be lamped, taped lured, trapped, ringed and tagged.... after it's crucial to conservation isn’t it..... errrr.... and their British lists I think !!..... What a bunch of utterly selfish tossers !

    It's a great find by the way, congrats !!

  5. I think it will be really interesting to track the movements of this bird. I have no real personal interest in seeing it.
    Vagrants can be precursers to colonisation events (think of Little Egrets 20 years ago)and it would be interesting to study the exact movements of indiviudal vagrants to understand more of this particular type of colonisation/ range expansion mechanism.

  6. Tracking this bird may certainly be interesting, agreed, but can it be justified ? What would satellite tracking a single out of range vagrant individual contribute to little shearwater conservation ?

    If we really do need to learn more about little shear movements/changes in range, would it not make more sense to tag a good sample of birds from normal range and learn from that ?

    Call me old skool, but I don’t think we need satellite tags to tell us about birds colonising new areas anyway, we know about collared dove and little egret movements from observations, we know where little shears come from, and we will surely notice if records increase here or elsewhere, what more is there to learn from a tag on 1 out of range vagrant bird ?

    I do agree it would be interesting, but all things considered, I don’t feel there is any decent justification for targeting it in this way.

  7. We could say the same thing about all migration studies- we already know a lot from observations. The ringing and remote tracking provides more detailed information- the kind of information which is vital for conservation- locating precise staging posts, exact routes taken which can be precision targeted for most effective conservation.
    In vagrancy studies it would be interesting to track the movement of individual birds, to examine the interplay of environmental conditions and genetic determinism. For example an irruption or influx of vagrants could be a response to adverse environmental conditions/ disease etc. It could be a sympthom of a problem which needs solving.
    Above everything else it is important to gather all information about the natural world- all the pieces join up to solve the whole puzzle. All questions should be answered. If it interesting it is justified.

  8. I think I am definitely missing something here, we are talking about 1 out of range very rare vagrant bird, not a population that needs conservation action ?

    While knowing where it goes would be interesting, I cannot see what this would deliver for conservation ? And tagging it in the name of conservation would be bonkers....

    As I said before if conservation action is needed for a species, and tagging considered useful to gain knowledge, then conduct a study and take a sample of a population to learn from. 1 out of range rare vagrant in the UK is not representative of the little shearwater population !

    Sorry mate, I think we must just agree to differ on this one ! 8)

    Stringer out !!

  9. Sorry for the lack of clarity, I was switching between subjects for examples. My main point about ringing this bird would be out of scientific interest as part of vagrancy study.