Birdwatch - February 2021
2020 in review: take a look at a unique year in birding. Plus: Redpoll ID, getting 150 species on a local patch, getting locked down on a Colombian farm, the vagrant gulls that could end up on your list and much more.
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What's in this Issue?
■ That was the year that was
It’s fair to say the 2020 was a unique year in birding – and not necessarily for the right reasons. However, despite COVID-19-related restrictions on our movements, the birds still came, and there were some fantastic findings throughout the year, whether over gardens during lockdown or further afield when we could move around. Sam Viles rounds up a year that none of us could have predicted.
■ Keeping it local
Staying close to home can produce much better birding than you might initially think, even inland and away from famous hot-spots. Ed Stubbs attempted to see 150 species in a year in a small corner of Surrey – and the results were surprising.
■ Three colours red
Small finches with characteristic red markings on their heads, the redpolls are closely related and therefore very similar in appearance, which can cause confusion in the field. Andy Stoddart looks at Lesser, Common and Coues’s Arctic Redpolls, providing the information you need to separate them.
■ Stuck in South America
Of all the places you might choose to get locked down in, Colombia – with the highest number of bird species in the world – would figure highly on most birders’ lists. That’s exactly what happened to Sam Jones; he recounts his experiences in the country when lockdown hit.
Plus: thought-provoking comment from columnists Dominic Mitchell and Mark Avery, our latest photo challenge, the team at BirdGuides provides round-ups of December’s birding highlights from Britain, Ireland and the wider Western Palearctic, news, views and reviews, and your birding questions answered by our expert panel.