24 May 2014

24 May 14 - Swivel-eyed Loon Added To The IQ40 UK List

In a surprise announcement, the IQ40 club have added the Swivel-eyed Loon Gavia fruitcakei, (also known as the Swivel-eyed Diver), to the IQ40 UK List. A spokesman from the IQ40 club confirmed the Swivel-eyed Loon has been identified at a number of localities in the Home Counties. Other ornithologists have expressed concern that that the population seems to consist of elderly individuals which are not believed to have bred for many years & questioned whether the population is self sustaining in the long term. However, the IQ40 club spokesman said there are more of these in the Home Counties now than Lady Amherst's Pheasants and we still allow Lady A's to be ticked on our popular tours.
Great Northern Diver: These are clearly not Swivel-eyed Loons, which are know to only lean to the right
A spokesman from UKIQP, the political wing of the IQ40 club, commented "We broadly welcome these changes as this is our party's logo and the distinctive purple colour looks great on the Swivel-eyed Loon". We are pleased with the number of records that have been recorded all across the UK during the European Big Bird Count yesterday.
White-tailed Sea-eagle: This is turning up regularly in England these days & therefore not a troublesome species in the event of Scottish independence (Rum 1 Nov 13)
Speaking more generally, both the UKIQP and the IQ40 club spokesmen strongly supported the campaign for Scotland to remain part of the UK. Should Scotland vote for independence, then funding will be found to relocate key UK species such as Capercaillie, Crested Tit and Ptarmigan to the Lake District, saying it's important that we are allowed to continue to tick these birds on our Year Lists.  As for the so called Scottish Crossbills, the IQ40 spokesman added, we don't recognise that species as they are too hard to identify, so they can keep them. We would strongly support all plans to retain the Hebrides, Orkneys, Shetlands and Fair Isle as part of the UK, should Scotland vote for independence. 
Corn Crake: A reintroduction scheme into the Fens has already made this species cheaper to Year tick in these days of soaring fuel costs. It's hoped relocating the Capercaillie, Crested Tit and Ptarmigan further South will reduce the UK's dependency on Shetlands oil (Balranald, North Uist, 4 June 12)
When asked about two recent controversial birds, the IQ40 spokesman confirmed that the Flamborough Atlas Flycatcher will remain fully tickable (following scientific studies that showed that its DNA was indistinguishable from that of a Pied Flycatcher). Thus, it is completely tickable alongside the UK Pied Flycatcher.
"Atlas Flycatcher": Well OK, this is a Collared Flycatcher, but they all look the same, give or take a bit of black & white here & there (Beit Yatir, Israel 8 April 14) 
The IQ40 spokesman also confirmed the current Hampshire male Italian Sparrow is fully tickable, as scientific studies are also expected to show a high percentage of House Sparrow genes in it (when a DNA sample can be obtained). He added (desperately), I've already travelled to see it & I can't lose this bird off my Year list. Cynics have said the Italian Sparrow looks a bit like a cross between the following two species (perhaps that explains it). 
Spanish Sparrow: (km19 - km20, Eliat, Israel 9 April 14)
House Sparrow: (Jungle Hut, Western Ghats, India 28 Dec 13)

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