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In the May 2017 Issue

Publish Date
19 Apr 2017


Birdwatch May 2017

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  • Know your grouse – Our resident grouse species – Red Grouse, Ptarmigan, Black Grouse and Capercaillie – are tied to particular habitats and rarely, if ever, seen away from their normal range. Spring is the best time to see them as they are often visible at their leks. Learn how to tell them apart with our detailed and accessible ID photo guide.
  • Winds of change – Birders traditionally keep their eyes on weather systems during autumn migration, but watching spring winds can be just as wise and productive. Whether there are easterlies for drift migrants, westerlies for skua passage, southerlies for Mediterranean overshoots or northerlies holding migrants back, David Callahan shows you which conditions will give you which birds this season.
  • On scimitar wings – Common Swift is one of many summer visitors undergoing a decline. As the birds set up territories in Britain, the RSPB’s Rebecca Pitman tells us what the charity’s swift studies have shown and also reveals what a groundbreaking migration study of the species in China has uncovered.
  • Bird therapy – The urge to get out in the field and go birding is not just force of habit – instinctively birders know that watching birds and being outdoors in the countryside makes us feel good. Joe Harkness describes the mental and physical health benefits of this great hobby, the benefits of which are now supported by scientific research.

    Plus new where to watch itineraries for county Big Days, all the headline news and latest rarity and scarcity sightings from, columnists Mark Avery and Bill Oddie, Steve Young’s photo challenge, news, views and product reviews, and birding Q&A with the expert Birdwatch team.

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