That splash (Brit. Birds 90: plate 149) was caused by a Grey Heron Ardea cinerea, photographed by Pascal Bourguignon in France in July 1996. Less than half (48%) of entrants got it right, with other answers encompassing three other heron/egret species as well as Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis, Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Snow Goose Anser caerukscens, Red-breasted Merganser Mergus senator, Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo and Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita. The black-and-white swimming bird (90: plate 194) created fewer problems, 62% identifying it as a Steller’s Eider Polysticta sullen and other answers being Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle and Redcrested Pochard Netta rufina. It was the male which stayed at Vorran Island, South Uist, Outer Hebrides, for 12’12 years, from May 1972 to August 1984 (Brit. Birds 66: 338; 78: 539), photographed in August 1980 by J. Miller. T h e leading group (Stephen Foster, David McAdams and Richard Patient) got both right and, moving on to 15 correct answers, have broken away from the chasing pack of 677 competitors. Nobody has a total of 14, but three have reached 13 (Dave Hunter, Jorgen Munck Pedersen and G. Rotzoll), and three have achieved 12 (Carlos Gutierrez Exposito, Jakob Sunesen and Peter Sunesen). Maybe December’s about-to-drink passerine (90: plate 208) or the rearend view below (plate 9) will decide who will win the SUNBIRD holiday of their choice in Africa, America or Asia.· 9. ‘Monthly marathon’. Photo no. 138. Eighteenth stage in ninth ‘Marathon’. Identify the species. Read the
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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.