There is a curious symmetry to the fact that my first spring at British Birds will go down in history for the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, while my last is dominated by coronavirus. My first editorial in this journal was about FMD and (unrelated) delays in our production schedule, but I don’t intend to write much about coronavirus, given the saturation coverage across the media. Unlike FMD though, it does have potential implications for the arrival of your monthly issue of BB. We are fortunate in that all of our production staff work from home and, happily, we are currently all well. But getting paper copies out involves printing and mailing. At the time of writing, Swallowtail Print is still open and the postal service is still operational, but potentially either – or both – of them could be affected by the current crisis. In that event, we will endeavour to make a digital version of each new issue available to all subscribers at the start of the month, and we will print and mail all of your issues just as soon as we can. Hopefully it will not come to that, but keep an eye on our website for updates if your paper copy has not arrived when you expect.

And finally – back to birds. The content of this issue is again varied enough to give most of you something to get your teeth into, especially at a time when many of us are bemoaning the lack of spring fieldwork routines (as we were in 2001). I know that Andrew Hoodless, lead author of the terrific Woodcock paper on pp. 256–278, is particularly frustrated that a whole field season has been snatched from him, but at least you can read about what he and his colleagues have discovered so far. The many people involved with monitoring breeding Curlews, in lowland England and elsewhere in the UK, will be similarly disappointed. In contrast, garden-based surveys, notably the BTO’s Garden BirdWatch (p. 252), look set to have a data bonanza that may bring some fascinating results in due course.

Roger Riddington

248   BB eye: Bird (re)introductions: where should we draw the line?  Ian Carter

251   News and comment  Adrian Pitches

256   Migration and movements of Woodcocks wintering in Britain & Ireland  Andrew Hoodless, Christopher Heward and Owen Williams

279   Saving England’s lowland Eurasian Curlews  Mary Colwell, Geoff Hilton, Mike Smart and Phil Sheldrake, on behalf of the Curlew Forum

293   ‘Masked Wagtail’ in Pembrokeshire: new to Britain  Reg Thorpe

296   Separation of ‘Grey-headed’ and ‘Black-headed Wagtail’  Miguel Rodríguez Esteban

299   Notes

303   Reviews

307   Recent reports

Issue 5
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Roger Riddington
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