British Birds December 2010

The December issue of British Birds is now out and contains the following:

The status of the Cirl Bunting in the UK in 2009
A team of authors from the RSPB report on a national survey of breeding Cirl Buntings in 2009, which recorded an estimated 862 territories in 136 occupied tetrads. These were confined largely to south Devon, but a small population now exists in Cornwall as a result of an ongoing reintroduction project. From the lows of the 1980s, the UK Cirl Bunting population continues to recover, both in terms of abundance and distribution. Between 2003 and 2009, the population estimate increased by 24% and the number of occupied tetrads by 15%. However, there is little evidence to suggest that the species is naturally recolonising areas beyond its core range in south Devon.

Scopoliís Shearwater off Scilly: new to Britain
Ashley Fisher and Bob Flood describe how a Scopoliís Shearwater was seen and photographed from a boat approximately 10 km south of the Isles of Scilly on 2nd August 2004. This is the first accepted record of Scopoliís Shearwater for Britain. Although there had been several previous claims of this distinctive race, they lacked sufficient supporting documentation and proved to be inconclusive. The sighting described here was brief and light conditions poor but a set of splendid photographs by Bryan Thomas proved the birdís identity. Elimination of the much commoner Coryís Shearwater is discussed. The status of Scopoliís Shearwater off Scilly is also considered.

BTO Research Update
Tim Harrison and David Glue review changes in food provisioning, and in garden bird communities, as revealed by 40 years of the BTOís Garden Bird Feeding Survey.

Variation in the appearance of adult and juvenile Leachís Storm-petrels on St Kilda
This short illustrated paper describes the results of two seasons of fieldwork on St Kilda, and explores the variation in the appearance of this species at its main UK breeding colony, both in the hand and in the field.

Letters and notesÖ

Ö cover the usual wide range of topics, from the taxonomic status of the Least Tern and the status of eastern Woodchat Shrikes in Italy, to the hunting behaviour of Marsh Harriers and the breeding behaviour of European Bee-eaters.

Obituaries

John Warham (1919Ė2010)

As usual, a range of reviews, news & comment and a summary of recent reports complete the issue.

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