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Bird Watching

Bird Watching September 2019

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.

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13 Números

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1 min.
our contributors

Mike Dilger, best known for his slots on BBC TV’s The One Show, heads to South America to see where Birdfair’s proceeds have been spent. P24 Conor Jameson recalls the life of the formidable William Henry Hudson, an ornithological pioneer and RSPB leading light, on page 28 Joe Harkness highlights the therapeutic benefits that birdwatching has had on his life in his new book, Bird Therapy. Find out more on page 42 Renowned bird author Dominic Couzens reveals how life gets trickier for Tawny Owls once they have to fend for themselves. Page 75 The Urban Birder David Lindo visits the Japanese city of Toyooka – home to brilliant birds, including the Oriental White Stork. Page 98 COVER IMAGES: COVER - JOHN DAVIDSON PHOTOS/ALAMY; FLAMINGO - KRYS BAILEY/ALAMY; MAKIRA THRUSH - DAVID TIPLING…

1 min.

To misquote the great football manager Bill Shankly, birdwatching isn’t a matter of life and death – it’s much more important than that. That might sound like exaggeration, but reading Joe Harkness’s book Bird Therapy, and his article in which he explains the inspiration for it, it’s hard not to think it’s close to the truth at times. Birdwatching can change us all. It can change the world, too, and for the better. The good done by Birdfair, such as its support for Mar Chiquita, or the work done to raise awareness of wildlife crime by volunteers such as Henry Morris, can help stave off environmental change that’s catastrophic for birds, and ultimately for us. So, while I wish you, as always, a month of enjoyable and varied birdwatching, take a moment or…

1 min.
lesser whitethroat

Of our dozen or so regular breeding warblers, the Lesser Whitethroat is among the most elusive. It doesn’t have the secrecy of the Grasshopper Warbler or Cetti’s Warbler, nor the skulking scarcity of the Dartford Warbler. But the Lesser Whitethroat is an elusive bird, spending the summer buried in large hedges, rattling off its staccato song, moving, then rattling another phrase from a new position. But you hardly ever see them! In autumn, though, they seem to lose this excessive shyness and reveal themselves (at least to an extent, though hardly parading around like a Blackbird on the lawn). Lesser Whitethroats, in autumn, will eat fruit such as blackberries, in order to fatten up before their migration. It is then you can see the key differences between the Lesser Whitethroat and…

4 min.
five to find in september

1 GREY PHALAROPE Grey Phalaropes are small, curious waders which breed in the Arctic and Iceland and pass our coasts in small numbers, wintering at sea. September storms drive them inshore and inland, when they can turn up in sheltered areas for a bit before heading back out to the open waves. Grey Phalaropes can be exceptionally tame as they swim around in little circles or pick from the edge. Don’t expect them to be wearing the red feathering of breeding plumage, as most will be in the grey and white of winter or at least the similar plumage of a first first-winter. 2 JUVENILE BLACK TERN This small marsh tern (all marsh terns are small!) does not breed in the UK. In spring, they pass through in grey and black breeding plumage.…

1 min.
rarity predictor

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK There have been fewer than 40 accepted UK records of this chunky North American passerine. Most have been in the autumn and most on Scilly. And nearly all have been first-winter birds. CLIFF SWALLOW Since first being recorded in 2000, there have been more than a dozen records of this little North American hirundine. As is often the case with passerines from the other side of the Atlantic, most records are in autumn and in the west, especially on Scilly. YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING This is a bird in serious trouble, possibly in genuine danger of global extinction. That said, the last two Septembers have seen individuals turn up on Shetland. Could it be three in a row?…

1 min.
grebes and divers in numbers

1,100 Estimated number of Slavonian Grebes wintering around UK coasts (compared with about 30 breeding pairs) 130 Estimated number of Black-necked Grebes wintering in the UK (compared with 30-50 breeding pairs) 50 Estimated number of Red-necked Grebes wintering in the UK (compared with one breeding pair!) 17,000 Estimated number of Red-throated Divers wintering around UK coasts (compared with about 1,300 breeding pairs) 560 Estimated number of Black-throated Divers wintering around UK coasts (compared with about 1,300 breeding pairs)…