BIRDS NEW TO BRITAIN 1980­2004 By Adrian Pitches and Tim Cleeves. Poyser, London, 2005. 342 pages; many line-drawings, 72 colour photographs. ISBN 0-7136-7022-3. Hardback, £35.00. The ultimate goal in British birdfinding must be the discovery of a `First' for Britain; a feat which must, one would imagine, become more and more difficult as the list of possible new species dwindles with every discovery. Yet in the period covered by this new chronicle of additions, extending from March 1980 to the end of 2004, there are details of 76 (really 71) additions to the British List in only a 25-year period. Following on from Sharrock and Grant's Birds New to Britain and Ireland, which ended with Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri in March 1980 and included no fewer than 83 firsts in a 35-year period, this volume suggests that the boundaries of vagrancy are expanding and the amazing ability of birds to cover enormous distances during their migrations is still poorly understood. This volume contains accounts of all the accepted additions to the British List within this period, having cleared the hurdles set by both BBRC and BOURC. Some species not yet accepted onto the British List, including the October 2004 Chestnut-eared Bunting Emberiza fucata and Rufous-tailed Robin Luscinia sibilans double whammy from Fair Isle, are included to make the book as up to date and appealing as possible to the modern-day, instant-access birder. It is surprising just how many of these British `firsts' were initially found by someone who did not

Volume: 
Issue 2
Start Page: 
98
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