WhatsApp: Wirral Birders

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About:

A WhatsApp group has been set up to allow Wirral Birders to share their bird news for the area. The advantages of having access to this WhatsApp group over the likes of Twitter & Facebook are that everyone can send out their own news without having to go through a central person, and when a message is sent out everyone will see it, unlike Twitter & Facebook where news is easily missed.

A WhatsApp group has a maximum capacity of 256 members, which is believed will be more than enough to include the peninsular birders who wish to have that ‘instant’ bird news. For those who don’t need instant news, then Al Orton manages a Twitter account @CHESHIREBIRDING which gives out news for the Wirral peninsular and Cheshire which also features in a blog Al Orton’s Birding Blog.

Joining:

To be apart of the group you firstly need to have downloaded the WhatsApp app onto your phone, this can be done via iTunes, Android Play or the Microsoft Store, depending on what type of smartphone you have. Afterwards you’ll be able to request to join the group.

In order to be added to the group you’ll need to be in the phone contact list of the admin (see details below). If your not on the contact list then simply email your mobile number to the admin with a request to join. The group is open to all resident Wirral Birders; birders from south Lancashire, Cheshire & North Wales who make frequent visits to the Wirral peninsular maybe taken into consideration by the admins.

If you feel uncomfortable about this process it’s the way WhatsApp works, this is the only way you can join the group.

Security:

If you are completely unknown to the admin(s), we will have to ask you to convince us that you are a genuine Wirral birder. This is very important for the security of everyone in the group which will be water tight – once someone is a member they will be able to see everyone’s phone number!

At this moment in time the group admins are founder Elliot Montieth elliotpmontieth@gmail.com and Allan Conlin amceological@gmail.com 

Group Guidelines

  1. The group is ONLY to be used for sharing bird news from the Wirral peninsular. This means no general birding chat or banter. DON’T reply to group messages unless it is absolutely necessary to clarify something, or add extra information. This means NOT saying ‘thanks’ or ‘good work’ when someone posts something. Please remember that every message you send goes out to everyone in the group, not just the person who posted it. If you think there is a problem with a particular member or message, please contact one of the group admins privately rather than replying publicly on the group. In relation to this, please try and minimise the likelihood of people asking for more information by including it in the first place! There is no character limit on WhatsApp, so use it to its full potential, within reason.
  2. If you find a bird on the list of ‘newsworthy’ species (below), send a message to the group immediately, or as soon as possible if you don’t have a good enough phone signal at the time. Include as much detail as you think necessary to enable others to find the bird if they choose to go and look for it (fly overs are acceptable). Updates on rarities – use common sense, e.g. several updates on a county rarity may be appropriate on its first day or two until most people have seen it, but then perhaps just once or twice a day thereafter.
  3. If you hear about a bird on the list that someone else has found, and it hasn’t already been mentioned, send a message to the group, but please include the observer’s name if it wasn’t you that saw it.
  4. Stick to the species on the list below. The group is intended to alert local birders to county and national rarities, and not overwhelm users with too many notifications. This list will be flexible, and species may be added or removed as necessary. 
  5. Most importantly of all: Consider the welfare of the bird at all times. Do not send out news of rare breeding birds in suitable breeding habitat during the breeding season. Think very carefully about potential disturbance at other times of year, e.g. Long-eared Owl roosts. If you are ever unsure about whether to release news, or need guidance on access or likely disturbance etc, please contact any of the admins or the County Recorder for advice before doing so.

    Anyone not sticking to these guidelines will be given a reminder via private message or email, then removed from the group if there are further problems.

 

‘News Worthy Species’:

Use some common sense. Think ‘would people go out of their way to come and see this bird?’ If the answer’s yes, then it’s newsworthy. If you have questions about the group, a particular species or an identification matter then please consult the admins – If you find a new species for the peninsular, then you know what to do!

  • Mute Swan (coastal, not marine lakes!)
  • Whooper Swan
  • Bewick’s Swan
  • Snow Goose
  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Taiga Bean Goose
  • Tundra Bean Goose
  • Brent Goose (Any race other than hrota/inland)
  • Ruddy Shelduck
  • American Wigeon
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Garganey
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Common Pochard
  • Red-crested Pochard
  • Ferruginous Duck 
  • Greater Scaup
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Common Eider
  • Common Scoter (inland)
  • Velvet Scoter
  • Surf Scoter
  • Long-tailed Duck
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Smew
  • Goosander
  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Common Quail
  • Corncrake
  • Red-throated Diver (inland)
  • Black-throated Diver
  • Great Northern Diver
  • Slavonian Grebe
  • Black-necked Grebe
  • Little Grebe (coastal)
  • Red-necked Grebe
  • Northern Fulmar (inland)
  • Cory’s Shearwater
  • Great Shearwater
  • Manx Shearwater (inland)
  • Balearic Shearwater
  • Sooty Shearwater
  • European Storm Petrel
  • Leach’s Storm Petrel
  • Wilson’s Storm Petrel
  • Northern Gannet (inland)
  • Great Cormorant (ssp. sinensis)
  • European Shag (inland)
  • Great Bittern
  • Little Bittern
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Western Cattle Egret
  • Little Egret (outside of Dee marshes and north Wirral coastline)
  • Great Egret (outside Dee marshes)
  • Purple Heron
  • White Stork
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Eurasian Spoonbill
  • Greater Flamingo
  • White-tailed Eagle
  • Western Osprey
  • Red Kite
  • Black Kite
  • Western Marsh Harrier (outside Dee marshes)
  • Hen Harrier (outside Dee marshes)
  • Montague’s Harrier
  • Pallid Harrier
  • Rough-legged Buzzard
  • European Honey Buzzard
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Eurasian Hobby
  • Gyr Falcon
  • Water Rail (coastal)
  • Spotted Crake
  • Common Crane
  • Pied Avocet (outside of Dee marshes)
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Eurasian Stone-Curlew
  • Collared Pratincole
  • Black-winged Pratincole
  • Little Ringed Plover 
  • Common Ringed Plover (ssp. tundrae)
  • Grey Plover/Sanderling/Knot (inland)
  • Eurasian Dotterel
  • American Golden Plover
  • Dunlin (ssp. arctica)
  • Curlew Sandpiper
  • Board-billed Sandpiper
  • Temminck’s Stint
  • Little Stint
  • Wood Sandpiper
  • Green Sandpiper (outside Dee marshes)
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Terek Sandpiper
  • Spotted Redshank
  • Common Greenshank
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Bar-tailed Godwit (inland)
  • Jack Snipe
  • Red Phalarope
  • Red-necked Phalarope
  • Wilson’s Phalarope
  • White-rumped Sandpiper
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper
  • Western Sandpiper
  • Ruff (coastal)
  • Buff-breasted Sandpiper
  • Pectoral Sandpiper
  • Lesser Yellowlegs
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Long-billed Dowitcher
  • Great Snipe
  • Great Skua (inland)
  • Pomarine Skua
  • Arctic Skua (inland)
  • Long-tailed Skua
  • Bonaparte’s Gull
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Yellow-legged Gull
  • Caspian Gull
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull (any race other than graellsii)
  • Little Gull
  • Black-legged Kittiwake (inland)
  • Sabine’s Gull
  • Glaucous Gull
  • Iceland Gull
  • Ivory Gull
  • Laughing Gull
  • Franklin’s Gull
  • Gull-billed Tern
  • Roseate Tern
  • Caspian Tern
  • Black Tern
  • White-winged Tern
  • Whiskered Tern
  • Little Auk
  • Atlantic Puffin
  • Black Guillemot
  • European Turtle Dove
  • Common Cuckoo
  • Long-eared Owl
  • Short-eared Owl (outside Dee marshes)
  • European Nightjar
  • Common Nighthawk
  • Common Swift (early/late arrivals)
  • Alpine Swift
  • Little Swift
  • Eurasian Hoopoe
  • European Bee-eater
  • European Roller 
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
  • Eurasian Wryneck
  • Woodlark 
  • Greater Short-toed Lark
  • Shore Lark
  • Barn Swallow (late/early arrivals and races other than nominate)
  • Red-rumped Swallow
  • Northern House Martin  (late/early arrivals)
  • Tawny Pipit
  • Richard’s Pipit
  • Water Pipit
  • Buff-bellied Pipit
  • Tree Pipit
  • Red-throated Pipit
  • Western Yellow Wagtail (races other than flavissima)
  • White-throated Dipper
  • Bohemian Waxwing
  • Common Nightingale
  • Bluethroat
  • Red-flanked Bluetail
  • Common Redstart
  • Black Redstart
  • Northern Wheatear (ssp. leucorhoa)
  • Desert Wheatear
  • Whinchat
  • European Stonechat (ssp. rubicola)
  • Ring Ouzel 
  • Barred Warbler
  • Subalpine Warbler
  • Asian Desert Warbler
  • Dartford Warbler
  • Aquatic Warbler
  • Cetti’s Warbler (outside of Dee estuary)
  • Savi’s Warbler
  • Marsh Warbler
  • Blyth’s Reed Warbler
  • Paddyfield Warbler
  • Great Reed Warbler
  • Icterine Warbler
  • Melodious Warbler
  • Common Chiffchaff (ssp. abietinus/tristis)
  • Iberian Chiffchaff 
  • Arctic Warbler
  • Greenish Warbler
  • Yellow-browed Warbler
  • Pallas’s Leaf Warbler
  • Radde’s Warbler
  • Common Firecrest
  • Spotted Flycatcher
  • Red-breasted Flycatcher
  • European Pied Flycatcher
  • Willow Tit
  • Marsh Tit
  • Bearded Tit
  • Penduline Tit 
  • Great Grey Shrike
  • Red-backed Shrike
  • Woodchat Shrike
  • Western Jackdaw (ssp. soemmerringii)
  • Red-billed Chough
  • Hooded Crow
  • Rose-coloured Starling
  • Eurasian Golden Oriole
  • European Tree Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Brambling
  • Twite
  • Mealy Redpoll
  • Arctic Redpoll
  • European Serin
  • Hawfinch
  • Common Crossbill
  • Two-barred Crossbill
  • Common Rosefinch
  • Little Bunting
  • Snow Bunting
  • Lapland Longspur
  • Ortolan Bunting
  • Corn Bunting 
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One thought on “WhatsApp: Wirral Birders

  1. Great idea Elliot, I’ve been thinking about doing this for the L.O.S. and possibly Greater Manchester as Twitter doesn’t work well for us. I like your guidelines for usage, so I may have to ‘steal’ some of your ideas. – If you don’t mind of course 🙂

    Like

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