Inside the October 2023 issue of Birdwatch


You can now read the October 2023 issue of Birdwatch as either a digital download or paper magazine. The paper magazine is available in the shops from Thursday [28 September] – or you can order online ahead of then.

As October progresses, huge numbers of migrating birds will be arriving in Britain for the winter. Among these is the nomadic Brambling, a species which shows up here in varying numbers every year. In this month's Birdwatch, Sarah Harris details the life and times of this beautiful finch.

North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory's relatively short history is nonetheless illustrious, with this northerly outpost having cemented itself as one of the best locations to study migration and find vagrants anywhere in Britain. Warden George Gay introduces the island.

In autumn, one of the names that comes to the fore of European birding is Hel, a peninsula jutting out from Poland into the Baltic Sea. Milosz Cousens profiles this famous migration outpost.

Robins and chats are among everyone's favourite birds, and October is the month when European Robin is at its most abundant, as well as a prime time for finding a rarer species. In this month's ID feature, Andy Stoddart weighs up the options and offers advice on unearthing a mega.

Also in this issue, Julian Bhalerao tells the story of his recovery from a life-changing stroke and how birding has played such a crucial role, while Dr Richard Cuthbert of the World Land Trust recounts some of his memorable trips to the cloudforests of Colombia, where the charity's latest project aims to protect vital habitat that is home to Critically Endangered species.

After a two-year hiatus, 'Political Birder' Mark Avery is back as a columnist and looks ahead to a UK general election in 2024. Meanwhile, Alan Tilmouth discusses why the Schedule 1 list of breeding species is out of date and Lucy McRobert looks back at a summer of magic pelagics. There's also a review of the new Kowa TSN-66 Prominar telescope, advice on correctly exposing your images and plenty more besides.

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

  • Sound recordings and footage of Bramblings;
  • Footage and calls of rare robins;
  • Video of North Ronaldsay rarities;
  • Sound recordings of Antioquia cloudforest species;
  • 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.