ASH­LEY CROWNED ‘BIRD BRAIN OF BRI­TAIN’

Bird Watching (UK) - - News Wire -

It’s been a good year for Ash­ley Ban­well. In July this year, the Nor­folk or­nithol­o­gist and ori­en­tal bird ex­pert re­dis­cov­ered a bird not seen in the wild for 52 years. De­tec­tive work and a fair por­tion of luck dur­ing a trip to Pa­pua New Guinea led Ash­ley to some su­perb sight­ings of the Karimui Owlet-night­jar, a race of Al­lied Owlet-night­jar. Very lit­tle is known about this se­cre­tive and noc­tur­nal species, and un­til Ash­ley’s suc­cess­ful sight­ing the last spec­i­men of the Kara­mui race to be seen was an in­di­vid­ual cap­tured in 1964. And as if that wasn’t a good enough year, Ash­ley was also crowned ‘Bird Brain of Bri­tain’ at this year’s Rut­land Bird­fair. His spe­cial­ist knowl­edge of the birds of Su­ma­tra se­cured him a £2,000 prize, which he has do­nated to the Ori­en­tal Bird Club to help with its work pro­tect­ing en­dan­gered Asian species such as the Spoon-billed Sand­piper.

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