BOOST YOUR BIRD LIST

Join us on a day of bird­watch­ing to help in­crease your #My200birdyear tick list

Bird Watching (UK) - - News Wire -

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

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