Inside the April 2024 issue of Birdwatch


You can now read the April 2024 issue of Birdwatch as either a digital download or paper magazine. The paper magazine is available in the shops from Thursday [28 March] – or you can order online ahead of then.

Ask birders to name a species that epitomises the excitement of spring birding and there's a good chance that many will mention Garganey. Scarce, secretive and full of character, this migratory duck makes any day spent in the field. In the April issue of Birdwatch, Dan Owen explores the life history of this beautiful bird.

April is the peak time for common spring migrants returning to Britain. While their arrival can be relied upon, just how is 'season creep' affecting these species compared to in the past? Josh Jones investigates the rapid changes being observed in the status and distribution of some of our most celebrated summer visitors.

Common and Black Redstarts are two familiar spring migrants that birders will be keen to seek out this month. In this month's ID guide, Ed Stubbs offers in-depth advice on where and when to look for these delightful chats, as well as tips on how to separate them in all plumages.

More than 60 years ago a hunch that Cape Clear Island, off the coast of Co Cork, would be a productive spot for bird migration was proved correct in spectacular fashion by a group of pioneers. Steve Wing profiles the history and growth of the island's bird observatory, which has produced many spectacular rarities over the decades.

From further afield, Keith Betton reports on a spectacular birding cruise through Indonesia's Banda Sea in which he caught up with a wealth of species seldom seen by birders, while there's also a feature detailing a successful Blue-throated Macaw conservation project in Bolivia.

Also in this issue, Kit Day reviews Nikon's impressive NIKKOR Z 800 mm f/6.3 lens and we shine a spotlight on the recovery of Eurasian Bittern in Britain. There's advice on managing your garden for pollinators, applying fieldcraft to get closer to birds and what to be on the lookout for this month, while our columnists talk moving house, the perils of social-media birding and the impact on wildlife of the UK's break-up with the EU.

April's digital edition has plenty of bonus content, including:

  • Video of Garganey;
  • Black and Common Redstart footage;
  • Film of spring migrants;
  • Bonus photographs of Banda Sea species;
  • More images and videos of the latest rarities and scarcities.

The digital edition is available for PC and Mac, iPhone/iPad and Android. Sample issues are free, and subscriptions or single copies can be purchased.