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News Translocation project hopes to re-establish Ospreys in Poole Harbour
RSPB Seabird danger from overfishing in post-Brexit seas
WWT 'Headstarted' wader chicks released in the Fens in British first
Research Global warming risk for wildlife in prime habitats
Afghan wetland to become protected area for migratory birds
Review The Birds of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands 2014
Special offer: Tales of a Ludicrous Bird Gardener by Bill Oddie
Featured tour Autumn rarity-finding in Shetland
Bird of the Week Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler
Photo of the Week 14–20 June
Review of the Week 14–20 June
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News Translocation project hopes to re-establish Ospreys in Poole Harbour
 Translocation project hopes to re-establish Ospreys in Poole HarbourA new initiative aiming to see Osprey nesting again on the south coast has been given the go-ahead, with the first phase being the return of birds to Dorset.
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RSPB Seabird danger from overfishing in post-Brexit seas Seabird danger from overfishing in post-Brexit seas
New RSPB research shows that British seabird populations could be adversely affected by the amount of sand-eels caught in the North Sea by industrial fisheries.
Link more
 'Headstarted' wader chicks released in the Fens in British firstWWT 'Headstarted' wader chicks released in the Fens in British first
Black-tailed Godwits have been released into their new wetland home by conservationists from the RSPB and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
Link more
Research Global warming risk for wildlife in prime habitats Global warming risk for wildlife in prime habitats
Animals living in areas that are ideally suited to their species’ needs have less chance of coping with climate change, new research suggests.
Link more
Afghan wetland to become protected area for migratory birdsAfghan wetland to become protected area for migratory birds
Rare marshland in the war-torn city of Kabul is set to come under the official protection of the UN environment agency.
Link more
Review The Birds of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands 2014
Steve Holliday discovers a huge amount of information packed into the pages of the latest annual bird report from the West Midland Bird Club.
Link more
 The Birds of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands 2014
Special offer: Tales of a Ludicrous Bird Gardener by Bill Oddie
: by Bill OddieSpecial offer price: £15.99 (SRP: £16.99)

Published 4 July 2017

In this garden-based autobiography of Britain's best-known birder, Bill covers his personal relationship with the gardens he has known throughout his life, from his "sink full of mud" childhood yard in industrial Rochdale in the 1940s, through to his current north London garden, described in the press as "probably the most bizarre back garden in Britain".

This new title features plenty of eccentric characters and stories; such as the 'feng shui fox' who constantly rearranged the ornaments, 'Limpy', the one-legged single-parent Great Tit, and one memorable nightmarish occasion when more than 50 rats came to visit!

The book is not an instructional guide on 'how to be a ludicrous gardener', although it may well prove inspirational to others to give it a go. What is certain, though, is that Bill's entertaining take on gardening for birds makes compelling reading.
Link more
Featured tour Autumn rarity-finding in Shetland
There's no better place in Britain to look for rarities during migration than Shetland. The islands reach their peak in late September and early October, when recent major rarities such as Siberian Rubythroat, Siberian Accentor, Thick-billed Warbler and Cape May Warbler have all turned up. Almost anything is possible, so once again this autumn we'll be returning to enjoy some prime-time birding in the Northern Isles — book now to guarantee your trip.
Link more
 Autumn rarity-finding in Shetland
Bird of the Week Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler
 Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) WarblerFor the second week running, choosing our Bird of the Week has been a bit of a 'no-brainer'. The only confirmed new mega during the last seven days was a Myrtle Warbler on the fabled island of Skokholm off the Pembrokeshire coast on the morning of Sunday 18th. The bird, a fine male, was found singing around the buildings of the bird observatory (reopened in 2014) and later trapped and ringed in the island's Heligoland trap. The first British record since the run of four in 2014, this will become the 22nd for Britain, but only the second for Wales (the first was a five-day bird on Ramsey Island, also Pembrokeshire, in autumn 1994). Unfortunately it was present for one day only, and just nine off-island birders managed to get across to see it.

Myrtle Warbler (Setophaga coronata coronata) is the eastern counterpart of Audubon's Warbler (S c auduboni); the two forms (plus Mexican and Guatemalan subspecies) are usually treated as conspecific under the collective name of Yellow-rumped Warbler, but may be split again following recent genetic research — indeed, the IOC has already enacted a three-way split between Myrtle, Audubon's and Goldman's (S c goldmani). Myrtle Warbler, distinguished from the other forms by its white (not yellow) throat, breeds in eastern and northern North America and migrates to the southern US and across the Gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean and Central America. It is the only 'Yellow-rumped' taxon to have been recorded in Europe, and with the BOURC due to follow IOC taxonomy from the beginning of next year, we can again look forward to seeing the charmingly named Myrtle Warbler back on the British list.Link more
Photo of the Week 14–20 June 14–20 June
Rob Holmes' intimate Pied Wagtail shot is a touching evocation of parenthood, but also excels technically and so is a worthy Photo of the Week.
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Review of the Week 14–20 June

Given the truly sweltering summer weather, these past few days could easily have been a languid affair but the birding world continued to sparkle, not least through mostly vicarious enjoyment of a completely unheralded and totally dazzling North American passerine on a certain Welsh island. We have grown used to the occasional Nearctic landbird randomly popping up over the summer months, but it is seldom something so ravishing as the male Yellow-rumped Warbler that sang and flitted about the courtyard on Skokholm, Pembrokeshire, on Sunday. It being the 22nd British record was an irrelevance as gripping photographs emerged and boats were arranged for the afternoon and the following day. Nine birders made the Sunday boat and successfully latched eyes on the colourful waif, which later ended up in the island's Heligoland trap before slipping away over a clear night. With fresh and sweet memories of the popular Swainson's Thrush that graced the same elder bush in June 2015, Skokholm's courtyard is fast becoming hallowed turf.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Skokholm, Pembrokeshire (Photo: Richard Brown)

Aside from the warbler, it was the Elegant Tern in Pagham Harbour, West Sussex, that continued to steal the show, performing well in flight around the tern colony near Church Norton until 18th. There were conflicting reports regarding its presence or otherwise the next day and it looked as though it might have bailed out and returned to its usual French haunts — but the early evening of 20th saw it drop in again. Quite why it suddenly changed its habits is a bit of mystery but perhaps it needed to rethink its feeding tactics after running short of luck pirating fish from its Sandwich Tern neighbours. The Elegant wasn't the only bright-billed tern this week, with a fine adult Caspian Tern paying two brief visits to Holden Wood Reservoir, Lancs, on 20th, before flying through Leighton Moss later in the day.

Link Read the full illustrated review online (free to access)

We'd love to hear your bird news – if you find any rare, scarce or otherwise notable species, or have updates on any of the birds mentioned on our Bird News Extra page, please:

  • use the web page http://www.birdguides.com/submit
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