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A selection of the latest birdwatching news and blog posts.

Hit the G-Spot I've been hoping for my first Gold Spot after Steve Gale had one in a local trap and today I literally hit the Gold Spot.

Scilly Pelagic……….3rd to 5th August 2018 After booking into the Bell Rock Hotel it was not long before we headed down to the quay for our 1st pelagic on the Sapphire with Oriole Birding and the expert skipper Joe Pender and expert guides Bob Flood and Jason Moss.

Oxfordshire Weekend Steve is back from his five week trip so pressure is off at work now so did my weekend plus one at Holly's. Did some work at the Old Vic on Saturday, visited Farmoor with Jacob on Sunday and on Monday visited a new site, Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve in Thame where I failed to find a Pied Fly despite them seemingly being everywhere at the moment.

Caught in the Crossfire: Rhinoceros Hornbill The Rhinoceros Hornbill is often mistaken for the Helmeted Hornbill Rhinoplax vigil, another member of the family whose unusual, solid casque is more valuable than ivory on the black market.

Country diary: flood defences give the birds something to sing about Dirty-white gulls drift overhead and land on the brown mud bordering the water that runs through the breach in the sea wall. They are moulting adult and young gulls - black-headed, herring, two great black-backed and two Mediterranean gulls. They squabble, preen and cry.

Scarlet macaw DNA points to ancient breeding operation in Southwest Eggshells, pens or perches. "We were interested in the prehistoric scarlet macaw population history and the impacts of human direct management," said George.

Morning Coffee Laura and I have put a lot of work into our back yard to make it a friendly and attractive place for birds, bees and other assorted beasts. We often enjoy the fruits of our labour over morning coffee, watching the comings and goings of our different guests.

How birds learn In their experiments, the researchers were able to show that zebra finches can learn by observing fellow members of their species. The birds had to learn through trial and error to discriminate between two classes of birdsong, one long and one short.

Laura's Birding Blog About Laura Ways to Help Blog Radio Writing Miscellany Search Birds On August 4, my daughter Katie, who put together my website and the amazing database that powers it, married Michael Geraci, who drew the two Black-capped Chickadees at the very top of almost every page.

A race against crime: 5 years of Champions of the Flyway Over the last five years, Champions of the Flyway has raised nearly $350,000 to help BirdLife partners tackle the illegal killing of birds in the Mediterranean. We look back on five years of inspirational partnership.

Champions of the Flyway - from dream to Game Changer? In the editorial of our August newsletter, Jonathan Meyrav from SPNI looks back on five stunning years of Champions of the Flyway - the friends made, the money raised and the birds saved. Sometimes big things evolve by themselves. As a birder and a conservationist I strongly believe in evolution.

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Birding Ethics When Abroad I've thought of this numerous times when in Central America and a guide used a taped call on a bird that they presumably take people to on a daily basis. or multiple guides visit on a daily basis. I think there are times and places where taped calls can be effectively used.

Swallows and a first SKUA of 2018 Destination Dunge this morning arriving for first light. We took in a couple of hours in the sea watching hide where a single local was already counting Gannets and Terns.

Bardsey's Wildlife Being sited on the main migration route of many species, Bardsey is a well-known site for migrant birds, turning up many scarcities and rarities, as well as large numbers of common migrants. The island's list now stands on 326, after the recent addition of Citrine Wagtail in October 2012.

A morning in the bay……… Having seen some nice photos of both the juvenile Little Gull and Arctic Tern that have been kicking around Cardiff Bay during the week I planned a visit this morning before the rain was due to come in early afternoon.

Shakespeare And Stroganoff There was no ringing planned today so instead I had a scoot around Cockerham way. It's guaranteed to produce a good variety of species and sometimes excellent numbers of birds. I kicked off at Conder Green, where for an hour or more the place was alive with Swallows and Sand Martins taking breakfast.

Another good moth week With a return to some warm evenings earlier in the week and some changeable conditions it's proven to be pretty interesting on the moth fro…

Estonia in early May - 1 This was an Avian Adventures tour from 4th to 11th May 2018. A morning flight from Gatwick took us to Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport where we were met by Tarvo Valker who was to be our guide for the week. Our first aim then was to reach Rohuküla Harbour in time to catch the 7.00 p.m.

Handbook of the Birds of the World newsletter #50 The August newsletter of HBW Birds Alive - a milestone as the 50th in this series - has just been released. I've already lost track of how many new things I just learned in a few minutes' browsing. Highlights:.

The Mullberry Tree Earlier this Summer I was walking one of my favorite green spaces around the corner from the house when I spotted a bird bud of mine sitting in the grass, leaned up against a tree. Initially all I could see was his head and I did not recognize him. Then he waved to me.

Turkey's natural olive pastures: are ancient methods the future of farming? The indigenous olive pastures of Western Anatolia, Turkey, have nurtured generations of people and the web of life for many centuries. Olives in these areas are not planted, but are grown by grafting wild olive trees, which find their home in this unique part of the world.

Spain's mission to save the White-headed Duck In the 1970s, the Spanish population of White-headed duck was brought to the verge of extinction. Its stunning recovery shows why Species Action Plans are essential for the survival of threatened species. The beautiful White-headed duck Oxyura leucocephala is a compelling species.

Going for a ton Kojak and I did a day in North Kent yesterday trying to do a 100 species in a day. Kojak's account here We failed. Got to 91 and we got so desperate we even did Beddington Farmlands in the evening to get a few extra species. It was a pitiful scene. However a very enjoyable day and some good birds.

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