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Welcome to, the website of Birdwatch, the UK's best monthly magazine for keen birders.

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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Scottish Birdfair Programme 2015

This year's Scottish Birdfair takes place on 23-24 May, at Levenhall Links, Musselburgh. You can download your free programme here.

Downloadable Birdwatch magazine index v5.06 - Excel 2007

A fully downloadable and searchable Excel index of Birdwatch articles, photos, features and stories from 2001 up to the June 2015 issue. This version requires Excel 2007 and offers the best functionality.

This nominate Purple Swamphen could now be one of three species in the Western Palearctic, as <em>madagascariensis</em> and <em>poliocephalus</em> are also present in the region, in Egypt and Turkey respectively. Photo: Bill Baston.

Out of the swamp

Purple Swamphen looks like it consists of six different clades, which may correspond to different species.


RE: swan goose identification

The identification of Swan Goose Anser cygnoid is as follows. Check it out and identify what you have seen. 81-94 cm. Large goose with bi-colored neck and all black bill. Dark brown crown, nape and

ID please

Hi First time user, so hope I do it right. Took photos from hide in Wicken Fen of this little bird. I think it might be a juvenile, not sure which. Green finch (beak too small?) Goldfinch

rss feed for birdwatch albums Photos & Videos

Show off your latest sightings in the photo gallery, simply register for a free account and you can start uploading your photos straight away. Here are a few of the latest gallery additions.

with prey

Posted by Brian on 02 Jul 2015

Blacktoft Sands 26th June Sony A100 and Sigma 150-500mm lens

Posted by ron on 26 Jun 2015

Blacktoft Sands 26th June Sony A100 and Sigma 150-500mm lens

Posted by ron on 26 Jun 2015

Latest News

RSPB says effects of climate change on wildlife must not be overlooked

Posted: 02 Jul 2015
The RSPB is urging the government not to ignore wildlife as Britain responds to the impacts of climate change outlined in a major report this week.

Free the fledglings

Posted: 01 Jul 2015
The RSPB has issued its annual warning, asking the public to leave fledglings alone unless the birds are in obvious danger.

Celebrities back protection of EU Nature Directives

Posted: 30 Jun 2015
TV presenters Kate Humble and Miranda Krestovnikoff are among celebrities backing the WWT and RSPB, as they call to retain the laws that protect Britain's wildlife.

BirdGuides BirdMap

NewsMap Lite
Want to know what’s about? This map shows today's rare and scarce birds in Britain and Ireland; the larger the square, the rarer the species. First reports are shown in grey.

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 websiteBird 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


With you can easily enter competitions featured in Birdwatch magazine. Just click here to check out the latest prizes and enter online.

Which shearwater?

The Urban BirderClosing Date: 11 Jul 2015

WITH a view to getting some of the scarcer tubenoses on your British list – and particularly Balearic Shearwater – you book a pelagic trip off the south-west coast in late summer to increase your chances of seeing some of these legendary species. Luck is with you and a small flock of shearwaters and storm-petrels is lured in by the pungent chum knocked together by the captain of your shark-fishing boat.

However, as you decided to charter your own boat rather than take one of the more established pelagic tours, there is no experienced birder or guide on board. You have no choice but to identify the birds yourself.

A subtly brown-tinged individual glides past and is clearly part of the Manx Shearwater species complex. But is it your desired Balearic Shearwater, or is it another Manx – or perhaps something even rarer?

It drifts close enough for you to note all the diagnostic features and you’ve got good sharp images of it. Using what you have learnt from our comprehensive ID photo guide in the July 2015 issue of Birdwatch, can you spot the tell-tale diagnostic plumage and structural differences that will help you determine which species this bird is?

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