Globally, we have lost more than a third of wetlands since the 1970s, at a rate three times that of the loss of natural forests. A quarter of wetland species are at risk of extinction and, although waterbird species have a relatively low threat of global extinction compared with other taxonomic groups, most populations are in long-term decline…

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Many of the UK’s breeding birds are rare. Some have always occurred in small numbers, for example because they are top predators at the apex of their food chain or because they are highly ecologically specialised to restricted habitats. Others are rare because the UK lies at the edge of a more extensive distribution, either to the north (for example Arctic-breeding waders) or to the south (for example newly arriving herons and passerines). Yet others have become rare as a consequence of changes to their habitats. Monitoring the populations of such rare birds provides sensitive indicators of the changing state of the environment…

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Most importantly, despite all the paperwork and data input, I still manage to get out birding at least three times a week, and have been lucky enough to add two new species to the Cyprus list…

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British Birds December 2019: summary of contents

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This report presents data on scarce passerine migrants recorded in Britain during 2017…

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Ascension Island is a UK Overseas Territory in the tropical South Atlantic that supports regionally and globally important nesting populations of 11 seabird species…

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Garden Birds

Book reviews // 12.11.2019

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A lot of books, articles and leaflets have been written on and around the subject of garden birds and bird gardening, by numerous authors (me included). The appearance of one in the prestigious New Naturalist series (No. 140) might raise eyebrows, but this is something rather different. This is not a ‘popular’ or purely advisory book, but a work of ornithology in the true meaning of the word…

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Landfill

Book reviews // 12.11.2019

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This small, compact book of 23 mainly rather short chapters is, for the most part, an engaging and interesting read. There are parts of it, though, which I find a little difficult to follow: this may be just some intellectual failing on my part, of course, but I’m afraid I found them a trifle bewildering…

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When you include the early Croom Helm and Pica Press editions, the Helm Identification Series now extends to over 50 titles, but this is the first to focus on Africa. It covers all 107 raptor species that occur in Africa either as breeding species or as migrants…

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British Birds November 2019: summary of contents

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