As from the 18th March, Flightline (the free telephone information service) will finally close down. Flightline has been running everyday since 1980 and has provided much needed information on the rare and scarce birds seen in Northern Ireland and also, on occasions, rarities seen in the ROI. The service has been provided in all that time by only two people - George and Pat Gordon. Their dedication and enthusiasm  has been incredible. We could not think of anyone within Northern Ireland who would have shown so much commitment for 36 years to provide everyone with daily news, for no personal gain?
Before the days of Flightline, you had to be "in the know" or on the "Grapevine" to learn of any rare bird that turned up in the Province and when you did eventually hear about it, the bird could be long gone. So it was decided by the NIBA committee off the time, to make rare/scarce birds available to everyone, and Flightline was created. This service was very popular for a number of years with local birders seeing rarities such as Whites Thrush, White-billed Diver, Ross's Gull and King Eider all via information from Flightline. However with the advent of the Internet, smartphones, tablets and laptops, information could be sourced and shared immediately. As more and more people turned to their mobile phones Flightline alas, has become a service that has numerous alternatives, such as this Blog, that cost less money to run and are more flexible to run.

We are therefore immensely thankful to George and Pat for their dedication, enthusiasm and support in the last 36 years. Let's hope that George and Pat now enjoy their free evenings, they both deserve it!

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