A new record number of species were recorded on the Isle of Man during the annual bird race there in 2018. The event took place over seven days, between Christmas and New Year, with 116 species tallied. The previous record – set in 2016 – was 113.
Manx BirdLife runs the event and last year a number of rarer species were found, enabling the record to be set; these included Glaucous Gull, Little Egret and Long-tailed Duck. The race doubles up as a survey on the diversity and number of birds wintering on the island, providing valuable information on the island's birdlife.
Neil Morris, from Manx BirdLife, said: "While two or three species of wild bird, such as Little Egret, have been gained as winter visitors to the island due to factors including climate change, it is sad to reflect that rather more species – such as Yellowhammer – have been lost or become rare and thus difficult to find."
The first Isle of Man Bird Race took place in 2011 and has been a popular event ever since. Manx BirdLife is the organisation that works to protect the island's wild birds and habitats.