The spring challenge — With the days getting longer and migration and the breeding season building, now is the time to start getting out into the field as often as you can. Follow our 10 suggestions for the best way to maximise the best birding opportunities of springtime.
Odd one out — Migration is in the air, and so too are northbound warblers. April sees the floodgates open as Willow Warblers and Common Chiffchaffs arrive en masse to set up territory, but there is also another lookalike incoming 'Phyllosc' to contend with. Records of Iberian Chiffchaff in Britain are rising and April can be a good month to find one, so Andy Stoddart look at the key ID clues — and pitfalls.
Leading the way — No country has greater avian diversity than Colombia, and as a safe tourist destination again the country features prominently in the travel plans of globe-trotting birders. Most, however, focus on the Andes and the north — what about the Amazonian half of the country, also mega-rich in birdlife? Neil Bowman goes exploring off the beaten track.
Long live the birds — The British Trust for Ornithology's ringing schemes have produced much information on bird movements as well as astonishing facts about how long-lived they are. Ruth Walker explains what they've learnt and reveals the record holders for longevity.
PLUS: finders' accounts for Devon's first Pacific Diver and a Pallid Harrier in Norfolk, rarities across Britain and Ireland and the whole Western Palearctic, great where to watch itineraries for spring, opinion from columnists Mark Avery and Lucy McRobert, Steve Young's photo challenge, news, views and product reviews, and birding Q&A with the expert Birdwatch team.
The Birdwatch-BirdGuides Roadrunners team has beaten its donation target, but more funds are still needed to help fight the illegal slaughter of wild birds in Turkey, as Champions of the Flyway race day looms. We welcome any donations, however big or small! more
This tour is a great way to experience the incredible migration that occurs in the eastern United States. Magee Marsh and many other hot-spots in north-west Ohio provide much-needed stop-over habitat for an incredible diversity of species, including warblers, thrushes, vireos, tanagers, orioles, waders and more. We’ll also make the four-hour drive north to the closest nesting area of the endangered Kirtland's Warbler, one of the most sought-after birds in all of North America, and spend time searching for other species that call the beautiful forests of Michigan home. more
From the dawn chorus to a midwinter evening's murmuration, birds do things that are surprising and mystifying. Author Dominic Couzens delves into bird behaviour and uncovers its purpose and meaning in this fascinating new title. More than just an inside look at how songbirds behave, this book also represents a personal journey of discovery. What starts as a desire to learn more about the birds encountered on a regular father-and-son walk through the woods leads to a realisation that a bird's life is very far from the idyllic scene that can often be glimpsed by the casual birdwatcher. Above all, that life is often briefer and much darker than you might think. more
Northumberland's third Black-throated Thrush was a relatively fleeting affair, yet remained on show just long enough to attract a decent crowd of quick-moving local birders. A fine male, it bucks this winter's trend of females and gave some a welcome county tick.
Previous county records of this Siberian thrush concern a female at Riding Mill in December 2005 and January 2006, and a male on Holy Island on 28 January 1979. more
After a great week last week, Garganey remained prominent, with no fewer than 54 sites logging the species over the seven days, an excellent return for mid-March — has there been a better period to find this species on your local patch in recent years?
In conjunction with this 'slowing' of arrivals, the number of scarcities noted also dropped. However, a fine Alpine Swift found at Baron's Haugh RSPB on 19th gave Clyde (and Scottish) listers ample opportunity to connect with it by lingering to 21st — it's rare for the species to prove so confiding north of the border. The only Hoopoe was a bird at Boswinger, Cornwall, from 16–19th.