Little gull makes Manx birdspotting project debut

Image source, Peter Christian
Image caption,
Peter Christian spotted a little egret in Langness on the last day of the project

Dozens of different birds have been recorded by Manx birdwatchers during a week-long project, including a little gull for the first time.

Manx BirdLife said 112 different species were seen during the charity's annual Christmas Bird Race between 25 December and 1 January.

The total was one species fewer than the number spotted during 2016's count.

Spokesman Mark Fitzpatrick said hen harriers, little egrets, long-tailed tits and robins were also spotted.

Image source, John Barker
Image caption,
John Barker took a photo of a long-tailed tit and a blue tit in Baldhoon
Image source, Peter Christian
Image caption,
Peter Christian captured a picture of a hen harrier soaring over the island

He said the gull had made its debut in the count after being spotted at the Point of Ayre, but the person who saw it had been unable to get a picture.

He added there had been several highlights to the week, including the "good number of hen harriers, plus many reports of crossbills from several plantations".

The project is designed to help to build a detailed picture of winter birdlife on the island and encourage families to enjoy nature.

Image source, Andy Baxendale
Image caption,
Andy Baxendale spotted a large number of starlings resting on a set of chimneys in Derbyhaven
Image source, Steve Johnstone
Image caption,
A grey wagtail was spotted at The Raggatt by Steve Johnstone
Image source, Stephen Nash
Image caption,
Stephen Nash spotted a pair of whooper swans in a field in Ballaugh
Image source, Val and Alan Cook
Image caption,
Val and Alan Cook spotted a Goldcrest in their garden in Port Lewaigue

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