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Bird Watching Bird Watching

Bird Watching

July 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.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
H BAUER PUBLISHING LIMITED
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13 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

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our contributors

Photographer Tom Bailey reveals how our #My200BirdYear challenge rekindled his love of birdwatching. Page 20 Bird guide Ian Parsons throws the spotlight on the mysterious and elusive Quail, a bird you’re more likely to hear than see! Page 28 James Walsh investigates a north-south divide in birdwatching and wonders if some birders are missing out. Page 38 Renowned bird author Dominic Couzens explores the fragile world of the Little Tern, a bird whose numbers are sadly declining in the UK. P65 The Urban Birder David Lindo travels to the Norwegian capital of Oslo to discover its birding opportunities! Join him on page 86 COVER: STONE CURLEW: DAVID TIPLING /ALAMY; LITTLE TERN: IMAGEBROKER/ALAMY*…

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welcome

The joy of birding, for me, is not so much in ticking new species (although that can be great), but in seeing new aspects of familiar species. So, while I was happy to add Black Tern (above) and Black-necked Grebe to the #My200BirdYear list recently, the real thrill was seeing four of the latter in varying stages of moult, and 52 of the wonderfully buoyant terns in a vibrant, perpetually active feeding flock – I’ve never seen more than a handful at a time in the UK before. On page 20, you can read about how the challenge helped one man rekindle his love of birding for exactly that reason; while on page 28, you can find out about one of our most elusive birds, the Quail, as well as…

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great white egret

When Bird Watching was launched in 1986, no one would have dreamed that the Great White Egret would one day be our Bird of the Month. They were seriously rare birds back then, but the rise and rise of these stately white giants has been nothing short of phenomenal. If you have been birdwatching for many decades, you probably have field guides dating from the 1970s. Dig one out and check the distribution map for Great White Egret (or it may be called Great White Heron). It will probably show them as breeding as far west as Turkey! How things have changed in the last few decades and the spread of all the egrets (Little and Cattle as well as Great White) has been incredible. By 2006, they had become regular enough…

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five to find in july

1 BEARDED TIT One of our most exotic and unusual birds, like no other European bird, the little Bearded Tit is also one of the prettiest and, yes, cutest of our birds! Everything about them is delightful, even the ‘ping ping’ sound as birds call to each other. Bearded Tits are reedbed specialists, often seen fleetingly as they fly over the tops of the reeds. However, in summer, you may see family groups feeding on the damp ground at the edge of a reedbed. Only males have the pale blue heads and long drooping moustaches; but females and juveniles are easy to identify, too. 2 GLOSSY IBIS Like our bird of the month, the Great White Egret, the Glossy Ibis is a bird which has been on the charge heading west in recent…

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rarity predictor

SOOTY TERN There have been fewer than 40 accepted records of Sooty Tern in the UK (plus a few more which could have been either this species or the similar Bridled Tern). June to August is the time to go searching for these beautiful seabirds. GREATER YELLOWLEGS Greater Yellowlegs (with about 60 UK records) is a very rare North American bird. However, when they do come over here, individuals have a tendency to hang around, perhaps reappearing in subsequent years. There hasn’t been one in the UK since 2016, so we are surely due another? PACIFIC SWIFT There have been fewer than 10 accepted records of this swift from the east in the UK, so it remains a treasured find. Most records have come from east coast counties (particularly East Yorkshire). Keep your eyes to…

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sandwich tern

First described by John Latham in 1787, the Sandwich Tern gets its name from his type locality of the species, Sandwich, in Kent. Interestingly, the species name sandvicensis, meaning of Sandwich, is shared by species such as the Nene (Branta sandvicensis) and the Hawaiian flagtail (a fish; Kuhlia sandvicensis), both from Hawaii. This follows from James Cook naming the Hawaiian islands the Sandwich Islands (in 1778). But, note that Sandwich Terns, though very widely distributed, don’t occur in that part of the Pacific, being more continentally coastal in their habitat preference.…

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