British Birds August 2012

The August issue of British Birds is now out and its contents include:

The changing status of the breeding birds of the Inner London area
London’s birds have been studied in detail for about 120 years. Stanley Cramp was co-author of two important papers in British Birds looking at the birds of Inner London during the first half of the twentieth century, the first of which summarised records from 1900 to 1950, and provided a baseline for future studies. The London Natural History Society has since completed two atlas projects to map breeding bird distribution and is close to completing a third atlas project. This paper looks at the changes that have occurred since the period covered by Cramp’s first article (1900–50). Ian Woodward and Richard Arnold give an overview of changes in Inner London, followed by more detailed accounts of selected species groups. The number of species nesting annually in Inner London has increased steadily, from c. 32 in 1950 to c. 60 today. Waterbirds have done particularly well, and the successful return of raptors to the city has also been welcome. The fortunes of passerines have been mixed.

Bird Photograph of the Year 2012

Sponsored by: Anglian Water; and supported by Christopher Helm, Collins and The Eric Hosking Charitable Trust

‘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 Edmund Fellowes’ magnificent study of a Goosander, battling with a lamprey on the River Nith, this year’s winner. Edmund will be presented with a cheque for £1,000 at the Birdfair on Friday 17th August 2011.

The Carl Zeiss Award 2011

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 Ian Fulton, with his images of an Asian Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica daurica/japonica at Talisker, Skye, in June 2011. Ian will be presented with a pair of 8x32 Zeiss FL binoculars at the Birdfair on Friday 17th August 2011.

Notes

Hatching season for Common Pochard
Red-necked Phalaropes – top spinners or not?
Azure-winged Magpie catching adult Barn Swallow
Western Jackdaw eating snail.

Letters
Hearing tests for bird survey workers
Time out on retrospection?
What the eye does see: misrepresenting the views of others and a Freudian slip?
The status of second-calendar-year Honey-buzzards in Europe

Book reviews, News & comment and Recent reports complete the issue.

For more details, and to see a recent issue of the magazine, visit our website at www.britishbirds.co.uk