Inside the December 2023 issue of Birdwatch


You can now read the December 2023 issue of Birdwatch as either a digital download or paper magazine. The paper magazine is available in the shops from Thursday [23 November] – or you can order online ahead of then.

It's been a staggering autumn for rare birds across Britain and Ireland. The run of megas continued throughout October, with news of two potentially new species to Britain coming to light – the full stories of both can be read in the December 2023 issue of Birdwatch.

There's also in-depth analysis of September's unprecedented fall of North American landbirds, summarising the species involved and looking at how and why this incredible event happened.

This month also sees the return of the Birders' Choice Awards. Who are the heroes – and the villains – of conservation? What was this year's outstanding rarity? Which discoveries left you awed and inspired? Tell us your views on the best and worst in birding in 2023 and you could win a pair of Hawke 8x42 Endurance ED binoculars worth £289.

Many of the world's birds are uniquely adapted to the extremes of montane environments. In this issue, David Callahan looks at some of the extraordinary species involved and ponders what will happen to them as climate change shrinks their isolated habitats.

In this month's ID focus, Ed Stubbs celebrates the potential of Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting flocks to harbour rarer cousins during the winter months, looking at some of the exciting species you could target in your local gatherings during the weeks ahead.

Also in the December issue, the winner of the prestigious Birdwatch and SWAROVSKI OPTIK Artist of the Year award is announced, with all this year's commended works at the Society of Wildlife Artists' The Natural Eye exhibition also featured.

Additionally, Mark Avery analyses the status of Common Pheasant in Britain, Mike Alibone reviews a new Kowa telescope and our panel of experts offers advice on understanding ISO for your photography, wildlife gardening and what to look for on your patch this December.

December's digital edition has lots of bonus content, including:

  • Video and recordings of montane species;
  • Footage and calls of rare buntings;
  • Video of some of the North American landbird rarities seen this autumn;
  • Sound recordings of December patch targets;
  • Film of recent 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.