Can You Tick It..?

Last night I faced a dilemma, just as Dave Gray was arriving for tea and to watch a film the mobile beeped with news of a Manx Shearwater at Eyebrook Reservoir. Manxie is a big bird in VC55 and a bird I dipped by minutes at Saddington Reservoir way back when. There can’t have been many since then and none that were twitchable. Leigh was right to put any notion of going for it last night out of my head.

Ok then, I thought I’d go first light today but subsequent events made me hold on that decision. The bird was reported to be exhausted and this was later changed to report it was caught in something and a rescue was to be attempted if possible.

As it turns out a boat couldn’t be found at such a late hour and the bird was found dead this morning. This made me ponder a question… if a bird is found in poor health, taken into care and released then could you tick it? Personally I couldn’t go and tick a released bird in that way. Why? Well at the time of release it couldn’t be truly considered to be in a wild and unfettered state, could it.

In that case then what about ringed birds? Well I haven’t ever faced the dilemma of ticking an in-the-hand bird that wasn’t refound later. Anyway, being ringed is no barrier to it being a wild bird.

I suppose it’s up to each birder but a bird released from care is little better than one knowingly fed on board ship. We wouldn’t add Snowy Sheathbill to the British list… would we?


8 responses to “Can You Tick It..?

  1. What’s the difference between a bird ‘knowingly fed on board ship’ and a Dark-eyed Junco at a garden bird table?

  2. thedrunkbirder

    It might not have been knowingly fed on board a ship… ?

  3. The jury is out on whether the manxie was caught up in some way…one things for sure tho…it was very exhausted…otherwise it wouldn’t have been floating in shitty weed 20ft offshore on a Midlands reservoir..!

    Re ticking birds in the hand…up to the individual of course…but not quite ‘cricket’ is it..? I went to see a Pallid swift being released years ago in Norfolk…only to watch it nosedive into the dirt 2 minutes later….how exciting and fulfilling was that…? Fuck a duck it was crap…so don’t do it…[unless you really must]…

    ps…hopefully you may get another crack at a manxie John..depending on what the remnants of hurricane Katia do..or don’t do…[another Sabs would be nice]…better still a Great Shearwater on the dam wall at Rutty…[ha]..!

  4. you’ll not be able to sidestep the question on Sunday, so give it some thought.. 😉

  5. thedrunkbirder

    I didn’t think I had side-stepped it. If a bird finds its way here and then locates a good, easy food source that’s fine by me. If it’s been knowing helped to survive the trip then it’s toast!

  6. Sad news this morning for those that didn’t see the Saddington bird shear away magnificently ………
    Birds released after ringing are clearly different to birds released after having been vetted, nursed, cared for, fed up etc. Mind you, it would be a whole different ball game if mischief-making ringers started offering up mealworms etc just prior to release!
    Vagrants (like yankee passerines) that are located at an unnatural food source (like bird tables) are acting exactly like native wild birds – no problem with that. It’s not like they have been forcedly ‘delivered’ to the table and hand-fed, they could (and do) choose to feck off at any minute.
    The difference with vagrants that arrive after having been maintained / kept alive through feeding on ships is that they may not have otherwise survived the journey. With species that have precedence for long migrations then provided there is no clear evidence that they’ve been fed then ir seems right to ‘presume innocence’. Stuff like the Sheathbill are quite rightly considered differently.

  7. Desert Storm

    Interesting point! Birds that have been ringed are not even an issue in my mind, just part of the game.
    Now, when a bird is picked up and taken into care for a short while that is down to the observer, I would like to see how many chuck the Hunstanton Rock Thrush off their list who saw it post Sparrowhawk?
    What about my Stormie at Sallyport last year??

  8. thedrunkbirder

    Your Stormie was just grounded and released very quickly, it was healthy but had just grounded itself and needed a bit of a lift to help it get off the ground.

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