Lockdown bird list(s)
The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic put paid to many activities locally, nationally and internationally. One such activity which produces data used at all three levels is called ‘Shorewatch’.
Shorewatch is a scheme of land-based monitoring for, and recording sightings of, cetaceans. Whale and Dolphin Conservation operate this scheme, and they rely on a large number of dedicated volunteers around Scotland to carryout the monitoring at specified locations.
The pandemic put paid to this for almost all of 2020 as many of the staff employed by WDC were furloughed. As such the volunteers were not allowed to actively carry on Shorewatching.
The lighthouses at Stoer Head, Assynt; Rhue, near Ullapool and Tiumpan Head, near Stornoway are just three of the 25+ Shorewatch sites around the Scottish coast. While there is a bit of competition between these three sites to get the ‘best’ sightings the data obtained is the overriding priority.
Now, to cut a long story short, this trio of sites decided to have another, more formal (serious!) competition during lockdown. A Lockdown Bird List for each local area with no prizes whatsoever up for grabs.
With no real end in sight to lockdowns we decided that 17 December would be the end date. The results were sent to me to be collated, mainly because I can ‘publish’ them on this website. The accompanying table shows the lists from each of the three areas. The birds and sites are both simply given in alphabetical order. It just so happens that the number of bird species recorded in each area also matches the site order!
From the Stoer Head site we can see both of the other lighthouses so we thought there wouldn’t be too much of a difference in the three area lists. However, each site recorded a number of species that the other two hadn’t. Stoer and Tiumpan each recorded 12 species not seen in either of the other areas, while Rhue had 4 unique records.
Between us we recorded a combined figure of 141 different bird species, with only 71 of those being recorded in all three areas.
Not a very scientific data set, but a bit of fun and really interesting to see the variations.
Many thanks to Steve Dodd (Tiumpan) and the Pringle Family (Ullapool) for all the watching and recording and then for sending me their records.
Hopefully we don’t have to plan a Lockdown Bird List rematch in 2021!
|Crow – Hybrid||√|
|Diver Great N.||√||√||√|
|Gull Great B-b.||√||√||√|
|Gull Lesser B-b.||√||√||√|
|Woodpecker Great Spotted||√|
|UNIQUE to AREA √||12||12||4|