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In this email:
Celebrate Birdwatch's 300th issue – on sale tomorrow!
BOU Siberian Accentor added to BOU's British list
Cattle Egrets breeding in Cheshire
Global Big Day sets new world record
RSPB Court gives go-ahead to massive windfarm scheme despite RSPB protests
Research Male birds adjust courtship behaviour based on social context
Madagascar promises to protect world's rarest duck on Ramsar wetland
Research Swamphens signal dominance with fleshy faces
Review Birding in the Bristol Region: a Celebration
Featured tour The Azores – visit Corvo this autumn
Special offer: Birds of New Guinea: including Bismarck Archipelago and Bougainville
Bird of the Week Spotted Sandpiper
Photo of the Week 17–23 May
Review of the Week 17–23 May
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Celebrate Birdwatch's 300th issue – on sale tomorrow!Celebrate 's 300th issue – on sale tomorrow!
Join in the celebrations as your favourite birding magazine passes the major milestone of its 300th edition.
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 Siberian Accentor added to BOU's British listBOU Siberian Accentor added to BOU's British list
The unprecedented influx of Siberian Accentors into western Europe last autumn has now resulted in the species being added to the British list, via the first for Britain on Shetland.
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Cattle Egrets breeding in CheshireCattle Egrets breeding in Cheshire
The RSPB has announced that Cattle Egrets are breeding at one of its reserves in Cheshire.
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Global Big Day sets new world recordGlobal Big Day sets new world record
Cornell Lab of Ornithology has revealed that its third annual Global Big Day, which took place on 13 May, has eclipsed all previous records.
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RSPB Court gives go-ahead to massive windfarm scheme despite RSPB protests
A £10-billion offshore renewable energy development on the Firths of Forth and Tay has been allowed to proceed after a court ruling.
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 Court gives go-ahead to massive windfarm scheme despite RSPB protests
 Male birds adjust courtship behaviour based on social contextResearch Male birds adjust courtship behaviour based on social context
A new study, published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, explores how male Dark-eyed Juncos adjust their courtship behaviour to their social landscape.
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Madagascar promises to protect world's rarest duck on Ramsar wetlandMadagascar promises to protect world's rarest duck on Ramsar wetland
Madagascar Pochard has a rosier future after the country's government pledged to protect the wetland earmarked as its new home.
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 Swamphens signal dominance with fleshy facesResearch Swamphens signal dominance with fleshy faces
What's in a face? In addition to their plumage, Australasian Swamphens convey information about their status through their faces.
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Review Birding in the Bristol Region: a Celebration
Steve Holliday finds this half-century celebration of Bristol birding a delight to read.
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 The Azores – visit Corvo this autumnFeatured tour The Azores – visit Corvo this autumn
There's no place like the Azores for extreme Western Palearctic rarities, and no one has more bird tour experience in these exciting islands than we do. We'll search for the endemic Azores Bullfinch and multiple American vagrants, with our long list of previous rare finds including Tricoloured Heron, Yellow-throated Vireo, Grey Catbird, Northern Parula and Hooded Warbler. Join our October 2017 tour, which includes five nights on the prime rarity island of Corvo – this is a guaranteed departure with limited places remaining. Led by Dominic Mitchell, Managing Editor of BirdGuides and Birdwatch (read his personal overview of 20 years of Azores birding here).
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Special offer: Birds of New Guinea: including Bismarck Archipelago and Bougainville
Special offer price: £49.99 (SRP: £54)

Published late May

This brand-new field guide is the first to cover the entire New Guinea region, comprising Indonesian West Papua (including the West Papuan Islands, Geelvink Bay Islands and Aru Islands) and Papua New Guinea and its associated islands, the Bismarcks and Bougainville. All of the 943 species known to occur are covered, including the extraordinarily high total of 456 endemics, as well as five introduced species, two species yet to be formally described and a separate appendix with 75 vagrants. Subspecies are listed also to give a comprehensive overview of the remarkable regional avifauna. Having lived and travelled widely in the region for more than 25 years, the author has invaluable experience and insight into the avifauna of this delightfully bird-rich island.
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Bird of the Week Spotted Sandpiper
 Spotted SandpiperThe Spotted Sandpiper at Buttermere, Cumbria, was still present on 22nd and constitutes a most worthy Bird of the Week. Dashing looks, characterful mannerisms and rarity always make this species popular in the spring but it's rare for one to a) linger more than a couple of days and b) show so well. Given that it has been displaying, it may be around for some time, and is well worth seeing if it stays.

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Photo of the Week 17–23 May 17–23 May
Russell Hayes' shot of a flying Common Cuckoo wins this week's award.
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Review of the Week 17–23 May

Though the weather showed considerable signs of improvement as the week progressed, migration continued at a snail's pace in what has been a largely sluggish and disappointing spring in many parts.

Of course, with a great passage of Black Terns and waders in the first few days of May, it's not all been doom and gloom, but east-coast birders have struggled to find any notable migrants whatsoever — and that continued this week, though the coming days seem to suggest reasonable promise for a late-season flurry.

Interestingly, the Black-browed Albatross was once again reported at Bempton Cliffs, East Yorks, at around 08:30 on 18th. However, just five hours later (at 14:30 German time) it was back asleep at its favoured roost site on Sylt, Schleswig-Holstein — had it really just hot-footed it back across the North Sea at an average of 70 mph? Either way, there've been no sightings in British waters since.

Western Palearctic news

A quite outstanding Dutch record on 22nd concerned a male Seebohm's Wheatear at The Hague — a first for north-west Europe. Currently treated as a subspecies of Northern Wheatear, Seebohm's breeds in the Atlas Mountains of north-west Africa and winters south of the Sahara. Given its north–south movements each spring, you could actually argue that this taxon was overdue an appearance further north and that it is a more likely vagrant than other species that have already made it here, such as Moussier's Redstart.

Seebohm's Wheatear
Seebohm's Wheatear, Netherlands (Photo: Arnoud van den Berg)

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
  • call us on 0333 577 2473
  • email us at sightings@birdguides.com
  • text BIRDS RPT (followed by the details) to 07786 200505
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