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New FOLL rare bird news service

16/9/15 Following problems with the old FOLL rare bird news service, which was based around Twitter, a decision was made to trial another system, this time utilising the WhatsApp smartphone messaging application. Subscribers will need to install Whatsapp and inform Fraser so that he can make the appropriate arrangements and check that payment has been made to cover the cost.

Pricing is to be retained at only £2.00 per annum and all the early indications are that this will be an improvement on the old Twitter based service. The primary benefit is that any member of the FOLL bird news group can now report a sighting via their phone as it happens, whereas the old system was dependant on one person distributing any rare bird news, once it became available. Another benefit of the new system is that WhatsApp also allows the sender to add a photo attachment to their sighting, which will obviously help if it’s a tricky species to identify.

Two days after the trial was started, Alan Rymer was able to put out news of a Great White Egret seen arriving at Lea Farm GP by Bob Bennett, although his next message, just four minutes later, was to advise that it had subsequently flown off!

Full details of how to subscribe for this service can be found here.

Great White Egret paying a brief visit to Lea Farm GP and seen by only two observers. Photo: Alan Rymer