Welcome to www.birdwatch.co.uk, the website of Birdwatch, the UK's best monthly magazine for keen birders.
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You'll find rare bird news and sightings, binocular and telescope reviews, birdwatching books and competitions, as well as features on identification, improving your birding and conservation. Register to create your own birding blog or upload your bird photos and videos.
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Click here or on the map to see a larger version showing today's sightings. For details of species and county, move your mouse over any square and check the pop-up 'tool-tip' (and/or, depending on the browser, the status bar at the bottom of your browser window). On the BirdGuides website, Bird News Extra subscribers can also see the site name, and can access further details by clicking on any square; they can also view BirdMaps from previous days.
For more information on BirdGuides bird news services, see www.birdguides.com/services.
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Spotted, Little and Baillon's Crake ID Quiz
HISTORY shows that, despite being reedbed denizens by nature, crakes can and do show up on even the smallest pond on occasion, so keeping an eye out for any rallid on your reedy local patch is a good idea.
With this in mind, you have seen a small crake-like bird peeking through the reeds on your morning circuit in spring. Is it the fairly common Water Rail (still a good ‘patch bird’ for many), or one of the more unusual species? Given your brief and partial views of the front end of the bird, is it that scarce passage migrant Spotted Crake on the way to its scattered breeding grounds, or either of the much rarer Little or Baillon’s Crakes?
Using the information gleaned from Andy Stoddart’s detailed advice in our ID photo guide in the April 2015 issue of Birdwatch, it’s time to make the call.