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Bird Watching

Bird Watching

March 2020

Bird Watching is Britain’s best-selling birdwatching magazine. Each issue is packed with expert advice on when, where and how to see more birds, from common garden visitors to the most elusive rarities. There are features from some of British birdwatching’s best-known names, superbly illustrated by the work of the world’s best bird photographers, plus comprehensive coverage of all the latest sightings, guides to the best birdwatching sites, ID masterclasses, news and reviews of all the latest gear.

United Kingdom
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13 Números

En este número

1 min.
birding question

Tour guide/writer Ian Parsons: Montagu’s Harrier I had breeding on the plain near me in Extremadura. Just beautiful PhotographerChris Gomersall: Slender-billed Curlew – I’m not quite old enough to remember Great Auk! Dominic Couzens: In 1985, I saw five of the last six truly wild California Condors, before they were added to the breeding programme Tour guide Ruth Miller: Bugun Liocichla. A beautiful bird and a great name to boot! I was lucky enough to see this bird in the Himalayas Urban Birder David Lindo: São Paulo Ant Wren. Only discovered in 2004 just 30 miles from the centre of São Paulo, Brazil…

1 min.

Raptors have a certain star quality about them – no matter how squeamish we sometimes are about their hunting habits (and they are, after all, only doing what they have to to survive), an encounter with one is always exciting and memorable. For me, as an eight-year-old, it was seeing hovering Kestrels that provided that spark of enthusiasm and made me into a birder for life, but in this issue Ian Parsons makes a good case for the Sparrowhawk as the most thrilling of all our common raptors. Similarly, rarities (and they don’t get rarer than the Slender-billed Curlew, p33) can kindle a love of birdwatching, but we all have our own moments of inspiration. Tell us about yours at birdwatching@bauermedia.co.uk and enjoy a great month of birding. Sign up for…

1 min.

In the last couple of decades, the Buzzard has worked its way inexorably eastwards and southwards, to become the commonest bird of prey in the UK, and a familiar sight just about everywhere. Hot on its heels, the Buzzard-sized Raven has gone from an ultra-shy bird of hidden crags, in north-western uplands shunned by man, to a bird with a breeding foothold in the flat lands of East Anglia, and even down in Kent. The Raven seems to have overcome some of its perceived shyness and snuck into the ‘rocky gorges’ of cities, and also makes use of nearby TV masts and so on. But they have not entirely abandoned their sneaky ways. Ravens are still pretty shy birds, but they have expanded their range partly by hiding in plain sight.…

4 min.
five to find in march

1 BLACK GROUSE Is there a more gloriously exotic British bird than the Black Grouse? The fancy-Dan males, with their startling white undertails and lyre-shaped tail feathers, are not even plain old black as their name would suggest, but a magnificent rich, shiny dark blue (only visible in decent sunlight, of course). And then there is the lekking, when males (especially at this time of year), gather to strut and sing and perhaps dance and do battle in order to impress the smaller, cryptically marked females. And the sound they make, a wonderful continuous bubbling interspersed by sneezy explosions, is one of the great British bird sounds. Leks (display grounds) are probably the easiest places to see Black Grouse and there are several in upland sites from Wales to the Scottish Highlands…

1 min.
rarity predictor

GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL This Pacific species is a very rare visitor to the UK. The first record was in 2006 (in Gloucestershire). Since then, there have only been two different individuals seen, most recently in March 2017 on Fair Isle, Shetland. They are large gulls, looking somewhat like a mix between a Glaucous Gull and a Herring Gull (with grey, not black in the primaries). SCOPS OWL In the decade just past there were five accepted records of Scops Owl in the UK (with a few of the more recent record still to come), including on St Mary’s , Scilly in late March 2012. Scops Owls are small, unobtrusive and nocturnal and perhaps most often located by the bleeping, ringing, advertising call. DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT Every year, there seems to be a claim of two of this…

1 min.
tawny owl sounds

Tawny Owls are famously vocal. Indeed, in addition to being easily our most common owl species, they are surely the most often heard. They breed early and territories are proclaimed through the winter. Males have the unmistakable quavering hoot ‘hoooooo [pause] hoo-ho hooo’ and will also produce a trilling hoot which sounds like the owl equivalent of the ‘drumming ‘ of Snipe. Both genders also make the ‘kewick’ and contrary to ‘received wisdom’, it is possible to hear a single bird going ‘kewick kewooo’! The fluffy young, which are hatched in the spring, have a sort of squelching hiss of a begging call (quite different from the ‘squeaky gate’ beg of Long-eared Owl youngsters).…