Despite growing up in Liverpool, just 20 minutes’ drive from the departure point of the Liverpool–Douglas ferry, I have never visited the Isle of Man. In fact, other than the good numbers of Red-billed Choughs, the large Hen Harrier roosts and the (now extinct) population of Red-winged Laughingthrushes on the Island, I have to admit to having little knowledge of Manx bird life. Birds of Conservation Concern in the Isle of Man is the first Island-level assessment of the conservation status of the nation’s birds. It’s an important step in ensuring species get appropriate levels of local protection, and brings the state of the Isle of Man’s avifauna to a wider audience.

These conservation statuses matter. On a local level, they direct more attention and, hopefully, more conservation effort towards the species that need it; and on a wider scale, they can significantly affect the success of a species. European-wide protection afforded to the Eurasian Spoonbill has allowed the species to return to breed in areas from where it had previously been extirpated. With colony at Holkham NNR, Norfolk, now flourishing, a range of breeding behaviours have been observed, and in the second part of a two-part paper, a decade of notes on these behaviours is presented.

On an international level, categorisations and conservation status can help to pull species back from the edge of extinction. It’s doubtful whether, without the Critically Endangered status bestowed upon it and the additional international protection and funding that comes with that unfortunate label, the Northern Bald Ibis would have survived at all. Decades of conservation efforts, outlined in this month’s third main offering, have seen numbers increase and the species’ status changed to Endangered, a step in the right direction along the IUCN Red List hierarchy. It remains an extremely rare and threatened bird – but the change in status is nonetheless good news for one of the Western Palearctic’s most bizarre-looking creatures.


504      BB eye: The conservation importance of EBBA2        Ian Burfield

507      News and comment    Adrian Pitches

511      Breeding Eurasian Spoonbills at Holkham NNR

Part 2: social behaviour          Andrew Bloomfield

526      Birds of Conservation Concern in the Isle of Man 2021         Neil G. Morris and Christopher M. Sharpe

541      The Northern Bald Ibis: population recovery and future prospects  Christopher G. R. Bowden

554      Notes

556      Obituaries

557      Reviews

558      Recent reports

560      My patch

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Front-cover photograph: Adult male Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Holkham NNR, Norfolk, March 2021. 

Andrew Bloomfield

Issue 9
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