n 24th January 1989, Mrs C. Miller noticed a colourful bird feeding in the garden of her house at Larkfield, Kent. Though not a birdwatcher, she realised that it was unusual, and made a drawing of it. Three days later, it reappeared, and Mr Miller managed to take some photographs of it. Enquiries were begun as to the identity of this strange bird.In the meantime, on 7 th February, whilst on my way to post a letter at the opposite end of the Lunsford Park Estate, I chanced upon the same bird. It was very striking. There were obvious lemon-yellow patches on the crown and greater coverts, a black patch running back from the bill and around the eye, and a broad black bib. The remainder of the upperparts were basically greyish, and the underparts were whitish. I judged the size as similar to that of a Wood Warbler Phylbscopus sibilatrix. I did not have any binoculars with me, but the bird was remarkably tame and I was able to watch it for about three minutes at ranges down to 2 m before it flew off. My first reaction was that it was an American wood-warbler (Parulidae). After only a few seconds’ thought, however, I dismissed mat possibility as far too fanciful. The date and place were all wrong; also, I do have a basic knowledge of the American warblers on the British list and this bird did not fit any of them. If it was an American wood-warbler, it
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British Birds – how it works
BB 2000 Ltd, the company that owns and publishes British Birds, is run by a board of directors, all of whom are volunteers. The company employs two full time staff – Roger Riddington is the journal’s editor while Hazel Jenner manages subscriptions and administration – and three part-time design/editorial staff.
The company is wholly owned by The British Birds Charitable Trust (BBCT, registered charity no. 1089422). Neither the company directors nor the trustees are paid for their services, providing their time and enthusiasm because they passionately believe in the value of BB. The Company is managed with a view to making a small profit which can be donated to the Trust to help fund its charitable work.
Over the past six years, this, combined with donations from other sources, has enabled the Trust to give almost £40,000 support to a variety of conservation and educational projects ranging from rat eradication on seabird islands to the study of cuckoo migration, as well as assisting young birders develop their interest.
A full list of projects is given here. The Trust is seeking to expand its charitable endeavours and would welcome donations from like-minded organisations and individuals.