BOOST YOUR BIRD LIST
Join us on a day of birdwatching to help increase your #My200birdyear tick list
IT’S GETTING TO that stage of the year when more and more of you are ticking off that 200th bird and completing your #My200birdyear challenge. Of course, that doesn’t need to be the end of the road – hopefully what you’ve learned so far, and the experience of looking for more birds, in more habitats, will keep you making great finds right through until the end of 2017.
In the Bird Watching office, assistant editor Mike Weedon is already past the double-century mark, having ticked some glorious Snow Buntings in the car park at Cairn Gorm during a Bird Watching readers’ holiday. Our optics reviewer David Chandler has also completed the challenge, with the help of a couple of short trips to the Continent. But Sara Mcmahon, UK Bird Sightings correspondent for Cornwall, brought her 200 up in more style than most. Your 200th bird of the year is always going to be a memorable one, but she caught up with the Amur Falcon that has been seen on and off in the county. She described it as “a cracking bird”, and who can argue? Editor Matt Merritt, on the other hand, is still making slow but steady progress through the 170s – the Nottinghamshire Bee-eaters provided a welcome bonus tick ahead of a concerted attempt to clean up on autumn waders. You can do the same, too, by joining us at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire, on 22 September. This superb reserve has been developed over the last decade to become one of the country’s prime wader-watching sites, located as it is on the edge of the Wash, and near the mouth of the River Witham. High tides push large numbers of birds onto the reserve itself, and as well as the commoner waders, it can be a great spot to find some of the scarcer species, too. When Bird Watching visited a couple of years ago, we picked up good numbers of Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stints, Spotted Redshanks and Greenshanks. It’s not just waders, either. Kingfishers are seen regularly, raptors can include Peregrine, Hen Harrier and Marsh Harrier, Short-eared Owls may already be back on their wintering grounds, and there’s always a chance of a rarity – Frampton has a good record for the likes of Glossy Ibis.
The Bird Watching team will be present from 7.30am (high tide is at 8am), along with RSPB staff, to show you how to find new birds, and to get better views of more familiar species, plus there’ll be the chance to try some of the latest optics. You don’t have to be taking part in our fun and flexible #My200birdyear challenge to join us – everyone is welcome! Entrance is free (normal RSPB charges apply).
Your 200th bird of the year is always going to be a memorable one, but she caught up with the Amur Falcon that has been seen on and off in the county. She described it as “a cracking bird”, and who can argue?
AMUR FALCON This female Amur Falcon, here photographed at Polgigga, Cornwall, on 7 July, was our UK Bird Sightings correspondent, Sara Mcmahon’s 200th in 2017