This month's Birding World appeared on the mat today. Having wrestled it from the jaws of the dog, I settled down to read it cover to cover (as is my wont). There are about 40 pages in a regular edition, so I usually allocate about 40 seconds for a read through: first I skip over the UK and WP photos/records sections (it's all been on the net for weeks by the time I see it in print); then I eagerly turn to the 'How I found the [enter rare bird here]' section and read the first paragraph or two of each article, the ones that cover the finder's moment of panic/euphoria; and, finally, I sometimes glance at whatever other random article has made it into the mag (often linked to whichever country Mr. Gantlett has just got back from). I then give it back to the dog to 'play' with. Well worth the money I think you'll agree (the mutt certainly thinks so).
This month's perusal was different mind, firstly I couldn't help but notice the editorial team had decided Corvo was far too quiet this year, so had randomly added all kinds of birds to our tally. One Common Nighthawk had become two, two Yellowthroats were boosted to five(!), the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker had found a friend, and likewise the Yellow-throated Vireo had also doubled in number. They have also reported that five REVs were present, it was probably, a slightly less impressive two. God knows who was to blame but, if you want a better idea of the status of yanks on the Azores, click here and check out the pretty darn accurate database.
As if the burgeoning of Corvo's rarity tally wasn't enough, I noticed that Birding World (presumably in an effort to make flipping rare birds sound even flipping rarer), are reporting the Little Blue Heron as "a new European bird". As if being a fourth for the WP isn't good enough! Of course, this now begs the question, where are the boundaries of Europe? The Azores are obviously excluded (that's where the last three LBHs have turned up), is Iceland? What about Scandinavia or Cyprus? I'm guessing Turkey is way out. I need to know,... in fact, I demand to know! Oh, wait up,... no,... I've just realised, I couldn't give a toss.
By the way, Ian Lewington's Goshawk cover and Amur/Red-footed Falcon plate are superb, is he the greatest bird illustrator of all time? Discuss.