British Birds, August 2013

Published on 06 August 2013 in Latest issues

Aug 2013 coverBB eye A tale of desertion, murder and incest…

Bird Photograph of the Year 2013 Sponsored by: Anglian Water; and supported by Christopher Helm, Collins, The Eric Hosking Charitable Trust and Simon King

‘Birds make great subjects for photography. Many of them are active by day, lots are relatively confiding around humans and they are found almost everywhere. But, perhaps ironically, for precisely the same reasons, getting a really good photograph of a bird is hugely challenging. Given that access is not always the biggest hurdle, a lot of people, quite reasonably, make birds the subject of their wildlife photography creating a surfeit of pictures that are OK – illustrative, clear, well executed – but just not great.’

So says Simon King – and he was one of the judges that voted Steven Jefferson’s magnificent image of a female Peregrine Falcon passing a feral pigeon to one of her offspring, high in the air above Norwich cathedral, this year’s winner. Steven will be presented with a cheque for £1,000 at the Birdfair on Friday 16th August 2013.

For more images, click here

Report on scarce migrant birds in Britain in 2004–2007 – part 2, passerines This is the second part of the tenth ‘Report on scarce migrant birds in Britain’, dealing with the relevant passerine species recorded during 2004–07. Non-passerines were treated in part 1 (in the July issue of BB). For many species this report marks the 50th year of systematic data gathering. This dataset provides a unique insight into trends that may not (yet) be apparent elsewhere and also supports other data sources (such as the Rare Breeding Birds Panel reports) in revealing changes in population levels migration patterns, both at home and abroad. From the beginning of 2006, several species that have traditionally been considered as national rarities were included in the Scarce Migrants project for the first time: Red-rumped Swallow, Greenish, Radde’s, Dusky and Subalpine Warblers, Red-throated Pipit Arctic Redpoll and Rustic Bunting. For these species, the report focuses on the two years (2006–07) since they ceased to be treated as national rarities by BBRC, although a summary of occurrences since 1958 is given. Of these species, Red-rumped Swallow and Greenish Warbler appeared in above-average numbers in both 2006 and 2007; conversely, the numbers of both Red-throated Pipits and Rustic Buntings were particularly poor.

The Carl Zeiss Award 2013 The Carl Zeiss Award, established in 1991, is awarded for a photograph, or set of photographs, judged to have been most instructive for the BBRC’s assessment of difficult species (or subspecies) during the previous year. This year’s winner was Tom Lowe, for his images of a juvenile Thayer’s Gull at Elsham, Lincolnshire, in April 2012. Tom will be presented with a pair of 8×42 Zeiss binoculars at the Birdfair on Friday 16th August 2013.

Obituary Brian S. Turner, 1921–2013

Short paper The distribution of Barn Owl nest sites in relation to altitude in south-west Britain.

Reviews, News and Recent reports complete the August issue.

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