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In this email:
News Birdwatch July issue — on sale now
Rarity finders Myrtle Warbler on Skokholm
RSPB Spoonbills breed in Yorkshire for the first time
News UK Hen Harrier population plummets to new low
RSPB Little Tern eggs stolen in Suffolk
News Doñana NP in Spain devastated by forest fire
RSPB 'Wigwam' nestboxes help a scarce bird to breed in South Yorkshire
Wildlife Trusts Kielder Ospreys become living art
BirdLife Pheasant wiped out by the Vietnam war to return?
Featured tour New! Join us for cranes, geese, raptors and more in Hungary
Special offer: A Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
Bird of the Week White-throated Needletail
Photo of the Week 21–27 June
Review of the Week 21–27 June
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News Birdwatch July issue — on sale now July issue — on sale now
The latest issue of Birdwatch is now available — learn to separate the three golden plover species, follow top summer itineraries in Suffolk, Cornwall, Northumberland, Notts and Anglesey, read about the spread of Mediterranean Gull and go birding off the beaten track in wildest Herzegovina, all in July's bird-filled edition.
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 Myrtle Warbler on SkokholmRarity finders Myrtle Warbler on Skokholm
Giselle Eagle's cursory check of the island's southern circuit hit pay-dirt when a mystery song emanated from some elder bushes.
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RSPB Spoonbills breed in Yorkshire for the first time Spoonbills breed in Yorkshire for the first time
One of Britain’s rarest breeding birds, Spoonbill, has continued to expand its breeding range after a pair nested for the first time in West Yorkshire at Fairburn Ings RSPB.
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 UK Hen Harrier population plummets to new lowNews UK Hen Harrier population plummets to new low
Conservationists have raised fresh concerns as a new study finds that Britain's Hen Harrier population has suffered a 13 per cent decline over the past six years.
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RSPB Little Tern eggs stolen in Suffolk Little Tern eggs stolen in Suffolk
The RSPB and Suffolk police are appealing for information after 10 Little Tern eggs were illegally taken from nests at a colony at Kessingland.
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 Doñana NP in Spain devastated by forest fireNews Doñana NP in Spain devastated by forest fire
This specially protected area and UNESCO World Heritage Park in Andalusia is at the mercy of a huge wildfire, threatening wildlife and people alike.
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RSPB 'Wigwam' nestboxes help a scarce bird to breed in South Yorkshire 'Wigwam' nestboxes help a scarce bird to breed in South Yorkshire
Bearded Tits are breeding for the first time at the RSPB's Old Moor reserve, having been provided with specially designed nestboxes.
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 Kielder Ospreys become living artWildlife Trusts Kielder Ospreys become living art
A two-year project entitled Living Wild at Kielder has been launched at Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland, and will include an Osprey perch specially designed by a fine artist.
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BirdLife Pheasant wiped out by the Vietnam war to return? Pheasant wiped out by the Vietnam war to return?
The Vietnamese endemic gamebird Edwards's Pheasant is probably extinct in the wild, but the presence of large numbers in captivity has raised hopes of reintroduction.
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Featured tour New! Join us for cranes, geese, raptors and more in Hungary
 New! Join us for cranes, geese, raptors and more in HungaryLate autumn is a special time on the Great Hungarian Plains, and this great-value tour will target a wide range of exciting birds. Lesser White-fronted and Red-breasted Geese occur among tens of thousands of Greater White-fronts, raptors include Eastern Imperial and White-tailed Eagles, Saker Falcon, Rough-legged and Long-legged Buzzards and perhaps Greater Spotted Eagle, there are big roosts of Long-eared Owls, and evenings are highlighted by many thousands of Common Cranes flying low overhead into their evening roosts. An extension adds the chance of Ural Owl, five woodpecker species including White-backed, Alpine Accentor and the spectacular Wallcreeper.
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Special offer: A Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
Special offer price: £35.95 (SRP: £37.95)

This new title is the only comprehensive photographic field guide to the birds of the entire Indian subcontinent. Every distinct species and subspecies — some 1,375 in all — is covered with photographs, text and maps. Featuring more than 4,000 stunning photographs, many never before published, the images have been carefully selected to illustrate key identification features of each species. The up-to-date facing-page text includes concise descriptions of plumage, voice, range, habitat and recent taxonomic changes. Each species has a detailed map reflecting the latest distribution information and containing notes on status and population density. The guide also features an introduction that provides an overview of the birdlife and a brief history of ornithology in India and its neighbours. The result is an encyclopaedic photographic guide that is essential for everyone birding anywhere in the subcontinent.
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Bird of the Week White-throated Needletail
 White-throated NeedletailIs there a better vagrant to our shores than White-throated Needletail? Many of those fortunate enough to have seen one certainly don't think so, and there were no doubt a few potential twitchers galled by the brief appearance of this week's bird on Barra, Outer Hebrides.

There are no doubt plenty among the British birding scene envying finder Bruce Taylor's unforgettable experience. As Bruce said on his Twitter feed: "Still buzzing from yesterday's needletail find: two hours of pure adrenaline watching one of [the] coolest birds on [the] planet!"Link more
Photo of the Week 21–27 June 21–27 June
A moody shot of a charismatic summer migrant wins Kev Joynes our latest Photo of the Week award.
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Review of the Week 21–27 June

Another British occurrence of what many have described as the 'ultimate bird' — White-throated Needletail — was the clear highlight of a respectable late-June week around Britain and Ireland. It's hard to believe that four years have already passed since that extraordinary day unfolded on Harris, and it's fair to say that few were anticipating this week's find, which came like a bolt from the blue.

Despite being the ultimate fliers, needletails have a decent track record of lingering long enough to be twitched on Scottish islands over the years. Birds on Shetland and Orkney haven proved very 'gettable' and the Harris bird's stay was cut short only by a freak accident. Therefore there were reasons to be optimistic about this latest arrival being twitchable, but alas it was not to be: seen for little more than an hour or two, it had disappeared by early afternoon and was not seen again. That said, it wouldn't be surprising if this bird reappears somewhere on the Outer Hebrides. As already mentioned, this species has a curious tendency to linger and its propensity for Scottish islands could mean that it's currently hawking back and forth over a Hebridean sheep flock as you read this ...

White-throated Needletail
White-throated Needletail, Castlebay, Barra, Outer Hebrides (Photo: Bruce Taylor)

Link Read the full illustrated review online (free to access)

We'd love to hear your bird news – if you find any rare, scarce or otherwise notable species, or have updates on any of the birds mentioned on our Bird News Extra page, please:

  • use the web page http://www.birdguides.com/submit
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