As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

'Lost' Aussie pelican a hit in the Philippines

14 Sep 2016 at 15:45

GENERAL SANTOS, PHILIPPINES - An Australian pelican that strayed hundreds of kilometres from its nearest known habitat to end up in the Philippines is the first such bird to be seen in the Asian archipelago, wildlife enthusiasts said.

This Australian pelican, which strayed hundreds of kilometres from its nearest known habitat to end up in the Philippines, is the first such bird to be seen in the Asian archipelago.
The waterbird flew into a fish breeding farm on the outskirts of the southern port of General Santos in early September, resident Levy Discamento told AFP.

"We saw a small flock of swallows chasing this big strange bird. There was an air battle until the big bird gave up and ran toward the mangroves," Discamento said, recounting his first sighting.

The mostly white pelican -- a species which boasts the longest bill of any bird, measuring up to 47 centimetres -- has since attracted a flood of Filipino and foreign birdwatchers.

They rent dugouts to watch and photograph the bird while it gorges on fish in nearby Sarangani Bay, Discamento said.

"We feel (it) is a blessing, bringing good vibes to people," Jimmy Poja, a local fisherman, told AFP.

Willem van de Ven, a Manila-based biologist and president of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, said the species is found all over Australia and occasionally as far as New Zealand, some Polynesian islands, New Guinea, and parts of Indonesia.

Birds turning up dead on Gulf Coast beaches

Posted: September 13, 2016 - 11:53pm  |  Updated: September 14, 2016 - 12:05am

ST. PETE BEACH — Dozens of juvenile seabirds called black skimmers have been found dead along Gulf Coast beaches over the past six weeks, and experts say the deaths could be linked to pollution.

The Tampa Bay Times reports volunteers who have been monitoring the die-off suspect the dumping of more than 1 million gallons of municipal sewage into Boca Ciega Bay in Pinellas County has something to do with it. Forty-six birds have been found dead.

Heavy rains in August prompted a number of Pinellas County cities to dump sewage into area waterways.

Experts say the cause of death could be salmonella, a virus or even red tide. Each of those potential causes could be related to the dumping of sewage.

Gulfport dumped 302,400 gallons into Boca Ciega Bay on Aug. 8.

Hurricane Hermine exacerbated the problem when its rains lashed the Florida peninsula earlier this month. An additional 892,500 gallons spilled Sept. 2, according to Gulfport public works director Don Sopak. That’s when the storm made landfall in North Florida.

The sewage issue could worsen as the region grapples with the amount of waste that was spilled onto streets and waterways. St. Petersburg officials on Monday estimated that the city dumped about 70 million gallons of sewage into the waters of Tampa Bay. That brings the official total that local cities and counties dumped to 135.1 million gallons — a number that continues to rise.

Young peregrine falcon shot in Peak District

Birds of prey such as Peregrines are protected by law. 

Police have launched an investigation after a young peregrine falcon died after being shot in the Peak District National Park.

The injured bird was found by walkers in the Goyt Valley, west of Buxton. It was collected by Raptor Rescue and taken to a local vet but later died. A post mortem revealed the bird had been hit with shotgun shot.

Sgt Darren Belfield, from Derbyshire police, said: “Peregrines, like all birds of prey, are protected by law. The persecution of birds of prey is a problem in some upland areas of the county, with offences taking place away from public view in isolated rural areas, often in the early hours when there are few people around to witness illegal acts.

“I would personally appeal to all users of the countryside to help us bring persecution to an end. If you know or suspect someone of committing or being involved in committing acts of wildlife crime of any kind I would urge you to come forward and report it to the police.

“Furthermore, if you are involved in outdoor activities or sports, or are engaged in employment in the rural areas of our county, I would ask you to remain vigilant to crimes of this type. The police need witnesses and evidence in order to secure a prosecution. The public can help with this so if you suspect it, please report it.”