After a successful 2016 spent smashing the world year-list record with a total of 6,833 species, Dutch birder Arjan Dwarshuis is back in his native Amsterdam — and we caught up with him for a chat about the mother of all birding years. more
This new title in the Crossbill Guides Series is one of two volumes exploring the autonomous region of Andalucia in Spain. Covering the western provinces, it answers two key questions: what makes this area so special, and how you can see this for yourself. This book describes the flora and fauna, landscape and traditional land use of this region, and features 18 detailed routes and 28 sites with concrete indications on where and how to find the birds, wildlife and flora. more
It was a surprise for many to learn that DNA had apparently confirmed the identification of a monochrome stonechat, present at Dungeness from early November and into December, as a Stejneger's Stonechat over the Christmas period. Still showing well this week, the bird has drawn a consistent and at times sizeable crowd to the far south-east of England. Although DNA is rarely wrong, the sample obtained from this bird is to be re-tested this week to confirm its identity, as some remain unconvinced that a Stejneger's could ever show such a streaked rump (and indeed the faint flank streaking). Time will tell, and we should have more to report back on this bird shortly.
There were signs of change this week as Waxwings and white-winged gulls — particularly Glaucous Gulls — became increasingly widespread and numerous on our news page as the days passed. It also remained busy in general, with the volume of news output as high as it has ever been at this point in January.
In excess of 650 Waxwing reports on our news page this week hinted that birds were on the move, and that was very much the case. By the end of the week flocks had begun to infiltrate Greater London and southern counties, and on some days the species accounted for almost 25 per cent of our entire news output. Reports of hundreds in Leeds and Sheffield showed that a considerable proportion of this winter's influx are now well south into England (although there are apparently still plenty in Scottish cities such as Aberdeen). For more on the wanderings of Waxwings this winter, see this article.