latest magazine ISSUE

Bird watching juLY 2018

Our latest issue  is packed with great articles to help you bird better.

  • Summer wader ID guide
  • Swarovski's BTX Eyepiece Module tested
  • Oystercatcher profiled
  • Take a close look at Britain's smallest raptor, the Merlin
  • Test your ID skills on night birds
  • Celebrate birders giving the troubled Turtle Dove a helping hand
  • Birding in Exmoor, Greece and Spain

    Plus,10 great sites to watch birds, author Mark Cocker on conservation and Dominic Couzens reveals some fascinating Herring Gull facts! All this and much more…

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What to look for, NOW!

every week we'll highlight what to look for when you're out birding.

This week it's: Red-necked Phalarope

One of the later spring migrants is the Red-necked Phalarope; they are still heading north to the breeding grounds in early June. They are far from common though, but if you are going to find one passing through, now is the time to go searching. Red-necked Phalaropes are tiny little waders (roughly the size of a Dunlin, but smaller-headed and finer billed) which have two unusual characteristics. Firstly, these birds are habitual  swimmers, famed for spinning around in circles, stirring up water and picking insects and such like from the surface. Secondly, they are one of only a couple of British breeding birds which have 'reversed' sexual roles and appearance; the females are the brightly coloured ones, which after laying their eggs, let the duller male look after the nest and youngsters. So, a brighter individual will be a female. You may see them on passage at suitable water bodies, preferably with a muddy margin for some more conventional wader feeding. Or you could visit them at their breeding sites, including the famous site of Funzie on the Shetland island of Fetlar.

 Female Red-necked Phalarope

Female Red-necked Phalarope

Image by Alamy

message from the editor...

Welcome to Bird Watching, the UK’s best-selling bird magazine. Every issue is packed with ideas, tips, advice, news and reviews, including binoculars and scopes, for anyone with an interest in wild birds, whether they simply enjoy watching their garden birds, or prefer to travel the country and world in search of more unusual species. Our mission is to inspire you to enjoy the world of wildlife that starts right outside your back door. Find out more and sign up to our annual birding challenge #My200BirdYear here.
Matt Merritt