Modern Day Birding Problems Number One Bird Information A Cautionary Tale




A rare bird mystery on Anglesey involving a Buff-breasted Sandpiper, old photo.



While out birding on the Isle of Anglesey recently I met two other birders, you know top of the range telescopes and bins, and exchanged pleasantries and asked the age old question “Anything about?”

To say I was surprised by the answer was an understatement to say the least! They had just been to see “the” Buff-breasted Sandpiper AND Pectoral Sandpiper on the Braint Estuary near Newbrough on Anglesey. I imagine my face must have been a picture but I composed myself and told them I had not heard of either of these rarities being seen at that site, I like to keep up with local bird news and two rarities at one site would cause quite a stir in the local birding community. The chaps had heard about the two North American waders on the internet and had driven over to look for them and succeeded in seeing both birds, though to be fair they were not one hundred percent sure about the Buff-breasted Sandpiper but it was with the Pectoral Sandpiper and looked like the picture in their field guide so were pretty sure. I was rather taken a back but thanked them for their news and went on my way.

Of course I kept thinking about it, there had by coincidence been a report of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper and a Pectoral Sandpiper together in Lancashire but they would not have had time to drive from there to Anglesey, especially as they had also seen the Red-backed Shrike at Cemlyn that morning too. So what on earth was going on? Had the local birders missed this amazing duo of rarities being reported? I checked Rare Bird Alert sightings and they too had missed the report of two rare waders on Anglesey! All very odd.

Chatting to Martin Jones, AKA Anglesey Bird News on Twitter, a few days later I mentioned the duo of rare waders knowing that Martin had not heard of them as he would have tweeted about them. Martin was as baffled as I was and neither of us could think of an explanation of how the two chaps had heard of the two rare waders on the Braint Estuary which they went to see, and saw, but no else had mentioned them anywhere!

Then this morning Martin may well have got to the bottom of the little mystery as he saw a tweet from our friend Dan Brown sent the day before the sighting of the two American waders. Dan’s tweet read as follows…

“Went in search of Pec and Buff-breasted Sands in the tall salt marsh grass of the Braint Estuary, Anglesey today. My pulse raced as a head appeared, sadly it wasn’t something from across the pond, but it was something unexpected!”

Dan had found a Common Guillemot in the grass at the Braint Estuary and not any American waders that he gone there in the hope of finding! There were no rare waders to be seen before, during or after Dan’s visit! Yet somehow the two chaps had twitched them AND seen them!

So a lesson for us all here read the tweet carefully, check and double check the things you read on the internet and do not jump to conclusions without fact checking first for your-self.

And oh if you do see any rare birds please share the news with others if possible, many thanks.





Contact us


* * *

*


Submit

Our Tweets


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this
 

Cookies

What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.


<