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Front-cover photograph: Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor, Montana, United States, June 2020.

Andrew Dreelin

2          Editorial

4          News and comment    Maddy Hine and Russ Malin

10        A review of Common Nighthawks in Britain              Nigel Cleere

26        Breeding-range expansion of the Caspian Gull in Europe: 2021–22 update

Marcin Przymencki, et al.

36        Exploring migratory diversity in Blackcaps: where are they going and how can we find out?          Lucy Mitchell

40        Field characteristics of the Caspian Tit           Stephen Menzie

44        Mediterranean Gulls breeding on rooftops in central and eastern Europe

            Marcin Przymencki, et al.

48       Report on rare birds in Great Britain in 2022: corrections

50        Letters

51        Recent reports

Knowing where birds are coming from and where they’re going to remains one of the greatest challenges in ornithology. When it comes to rare vagrants, weather patterns and a great deal of conjecture are often the best tools we have – but for species that show geographical variation, we can start to piece together potential origins of vagrants based on their appearance. That’s true of Common Nighthawks, where subtle variation in plumage across North America gives some clues as to where vagrants to Britain might have originated from. In the case of Caspian Gulls, large-scale ringing efforts and intensive observation have helped to track the spread of breeding birds across Europe. The increase in numbers and expansion of the breeding grounds in this species continues and, although it is only a couple of years since the last paper on the subject was published, there is still plenty to report on in this month’s update paper.

Even for some of Europe’s commonest migrant birds, the exact details of migration routes and wintering grounds remain unknown. This is gradually changing as more and more species are subject to tracking studies. New nanotag technology has allowed Blackcaps to be tracked in Britain for the first time and, although the results are so far preliminary, data from the tags is starting to tell us more about the departure directions of migrant Blackcaps than we ever knew before.

Stephen Menzie – Editor

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