Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Birdwatch – issue 188 (February 2008): table of contents


Get Involved at Birdwatch – new opportunities for freelance writers and a vacancy for a full-time member of the editorial staff. More details at :


  • Balmer, D. Boom time for breeders [An inside look at the first Bird Atlas results]
  • Vinicombe, K E. Snow and Ross’s Geese [The status in North America and Britain and distinguishing features of these two species]
  • Soar, W. Best of 2007 [A look back at a year that produced five new species for Britain and many other twitchable megas]
  • Martin, L. On a plain in Spain [Focus on early spring in Extramadura with its wide range of visiting and resident birds]
  • Marven, N. On location: Jaguars, jacamars and Jabiru [Brazil’s Pantanal wetland and its wealth of birds and other wildlife]
  • Young, S. Steering towards success [Using cars as mobile hides for bird photography]

Better Birding
  • Find your own … Glaucous Gull
  • How to … Keep a county list
  • On the move – Down memory lane
  • Tip from the top – Dick Newell
  • Must see – White-fronted Goose
  • BTO/CJ Garden Birdwatch – Blackcaps in winter
  • Bird coloration – Playing pool
  • What’s on – February events
  • Optical events – February guide
  • Birding courses and workshops
  • February high-tide tables for Britain and Ireland

Where to watch birds
  • Daw, P. Argyll coast
  • Bowerman, P. Severnside, Gloucestershire
  • Ahmed, R. Hetton, Co Durham
  • McKenzie, D. Crossness, Thamesmead

News and related items

News digest – The law bites back; Polish forest reprieve; scoter not common; and endemics lose rainforest.

Fraser, M. ListCheck – updating the world view of birds. [New species: Antiquoia Brish-Finch Atlapes blancae. Relationships: Kites, hawks, eagles and Old World vultures - Accipitridae. National list: Seychelles]

Tools of the trade

Product review: Zeiss DC4 camera eyepiece.

Brochure watch: Bird Holidays 2008

Birdwatch reader break: spring in Syria [pioneering guided tour in search of Northern Bald Ibis, Iraq Babbler, White-eared Bulbul and many other Western Palearctic specialities]
The last albatross adventure – Sula Sgeir, May 2008 [Rare Bird Alert’s final charter to see Scotland’s regular Black-browed Albatross]

Internet: Test your knowledge online; migrant tracks; and out for the count

Birdwatch Book of the Year 2007
The shortlist, highly commended runners-up and winner of this prestigious annual award

Book reviews and previews: Birds and People: Bonds in a Timeless Journey by Nigel collar, Adrian Long, Patricio Robles Gil and Jaime Rojo (Cemex/BirdLife); Finding Birds in Ireland: the Complete Guide by Eric Dempsey and Michael O’Clery (Gill and Macmillan); Birds of the Palearctic: Passerines by Norman Arlott (Collins Field Guide); and Book shelf – a brief look at some latest releases.

Accounts of recent rarities in Britain and Ireland

Fisher, A. Great Blue hope comes alive [Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias, St Mary’s, Scilly, 7 December 2007]
Bending, R & S. Crowning glory for Cley [White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys, Cley, Norfolk, from 3 January 2008]
Hallam, N. Thayer’s ‘scare’ [Unidentified gull Larus spp, Dix Pit, Oxfordshire 4-28 December 2007]
Wilson, M. Lone observer scoops a Sociable [Sociable Plover Vanellus gregarius 21 December 2007]

Monthly highlights summary: December 2007

Recent reports

Monthly round-ups from eight regions in Britain, and from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, December 2007, including photos of Cattle Egrets Bubulcus ibis, Siberian Chiffcaff Phylloscopus collybita tristis, Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis, Black Brant Branta (bernicla) nigricans, Long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis, Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti, Brambling Fringilla montifringilla, Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata, Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia, Ring-billed and Sabine’s Gulls Larus delawarensis and L sabini, Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca and Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi.

Highlights summary for the Western Palearctic in December 2007, including photos of Lesser Flamingo Phoenicopterus minor and Little Whimbrel Numenius minutus in Kuwait, Ross’s Gull Rhodostethia rosea in France, White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis in Iceland, Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius in Spain and Parrot Crossbill Loxia pytyopsittacus in The Netherlands.