• Stoddart, A. Short-toed Lark and Skylark [How to distinguish between these two variably plumaged birds]
  • Stoddart, A. Arctic and Long-tailed Skuas [A detailed guide to telling these similar species apart]
  • Birkhead, T. Myth takes [Early interpretations of the migrations of birds]
  • Alfrey, P. The pioneers [Are vagrants freaks of nature or do their wanderings have a purpose?]
  • Hale, W G. Grounds for investigation [Is the Magellanic Snipe of the Falkland Islands a species in its own right?]
  • Young, S. Focus group [Getting good close-up head shots of birds]
  • Marvin, N. Mountain anticipation [What links a British explorer, two islands and a nuthatch?]

Better Birding
  • Garden birds – Feed the Birds Day
  • Building skills – An ill wind
  • Find your own ... Richard’s Pipit
  • Tip from the top – Keith Betton
  • Must see – Grey Phalarope
  • First records – October outsiders
  • What's on - October events
  • Optical events - October guide
  • Birding courses and workshops
  • October high-tide tables for Britain and Ireland

Where to watch birds: mainland ‘islands’
  • Kerr, I. Holy Island, Northumberland
  • Saunders, D. South-west Gower
  • Piotrowski, S. Orford Ness, Suffolk
  • Pullen, D. Tarbat Ness, Highland

News and related items
News digest – Rare birds at risk from registration list cuts; Reserve restoration benefits birds
Fraser, M. ListCheck – updating the world view of birds. [Splits: Common Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus opthalmicus; subspecific status: Dunlin Calidris alpina; relationships: woodpeckers Picus, and starlings Sturnus; nomenclature: Himalayan Buzzard Buteo burmanicus]

Tools of the trade
Products: World of Birds 2009 [forthcoming reader holidays, including Japan in February, Syria in April, Texas/Mexico (combined) in April, Azores in October and Guatemala in December]
Brochure watch: Birdseekers 2009
Internet: global resources; newsgroup nuggets; website of the month
Book reviews: 100 Birds to See Before You Die by David Chandler and Dominic Couzens (Carlton Books); Britain’s Best Wildlife: the Top 40 Sights to See by Mike Dilger (Collins); Gardenwatch: Making the Most of Wildlife on Your Doorstep by Sarah Whittley (New Holland); Humans, Nature and Birds: Science Art from Cave Walls to Computer Screens by Darryl Wheye and Donald Kennedy (Yale University Press). Book shelf – Sue Monahan’s look at the latest releases.

Accounts of recent rarities in Britain and Ireland
Atkin, K, and Haywood, P. Audouin’s makes waves in Lincolnshire [Audouin’s Gull Larus audouinii, Lincolnshire, 15-23 August 2008]
Wing, S. Warbler gets the Cape party started ... [Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia, Cape Clear, Co Cork, 24-30 August 2008]
Haslam, B. ... but waterthrush is the headline act [Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis and Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria, Cape Clear, Co Cork, 26-30 August 2008]
Vinicombe, K E. Madness on the high seas [MV Scillonian pelagic, 10 August 2008]

Monthly highlights summary: August 2008

Recent reports

Monthly round-ups from eight regions in Britain, and from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, August 2008, including photos of Sabine’s Gull Xema sabini, Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus, Great Shearwaters Puffinus gravis, Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla, Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii, Wryneck Jynx torquilla, Black Stork Ciconia nigra, Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva, Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola, White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias leucopterus, Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis, Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta, Two-barred Crossbill Loxia leucoptera, Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis and Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria.

Highlights summary for the Western Palearctic in August 2008, including photos of Yellow-billed Storks Mycteria ibis in Egypt, Allen’s Gallinule Porphyrio alleni in Spain, Masked Booby Sula dactylatra off the Azores, Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni and Lanceolated Warbler Locustella lanceolata in Sweden, and Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis in France.