Two of the main articles in this issue showcase studies in which tracking has played an important part, which is a recurring theme in BB editorial content these days. The article on Roseate Terns features the results of direct observations (and the use of fast boats), which have yielded a great deal of new information about the foraging ecology of Roseate Terns breeding at Rockabill, the European stronghold for the species. Farther afield, satellite tracking of Egyptian Vultures in Oman shows the potential value of these new techniques in ornithology. Another familiar topic is the challenges caused by the identification of recently split taxa. Stonechats are up there along with Isabelline Shrikes and Subalpine Warblers as birds that were relatively straightforward to identify a decade or two ago, but are now a headache for birders and records committees alike – so the summary by Andy Stoddart and Martin Collinson is timely, even though there is a marked lack of the phrase ‘silver bullet’ in their paper.
Two editorials in this issue are worth highlighting too. The conservation concerns around the Curlew family is another topic that BB readers have heard about in recent issues, and it is welcome that there is some political recognition of the situation at the highest level. Last but not least, it is a treat for me to see the Not BB team reunited for a cameo appearance at the start of the issue. I am sure that there are plenty of birders of my generation with a few dog-eared paper copies of the original series, and I hope that younger readers also enjoy the authors’ undimmed ability to extract humour from the current birding scene.
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