Birder's Guide

MAR 2017

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 15 of 95

20 Best Birds in Britain 14 Birder's Guide to Travel | March 2017 How did I select my top 20 British birds? Species such as Red-backed Shrike, Barn Owl, European Bee-eater, and Hoopoe would almost certainly make my top 20 favorite birds seen in Britain, but I restricted the list to summer breeding birds or winter migrants, trying to avoid species that are circumpolar in distribu - tion, or rare breeders or scarce migrants. I focused on species which I think a vis- iting birder would like to see and has a good chance of ticking. Having said that, a few snuck in just because they are favor- ites and couldn't be left out! #1 • European Robin Erithacus rubecula One of the most common birds in Britain. It will not take long to find one of our red-breasted friends hopping around a garden, park, woodland, or any bit of scrub. Amazingly showy at times, it is often found waiting patiently for a tasty grub as a gardener turns over the ground. The robin sings through - out most of the year, and along with the European Blackbird (a thrush rather like the American Robin), it is one of the first birds to chirp up during the dawn chorus. Robins adorn British Christmas cards in the festive season and really are the quintessential British bird. So popu - lar is the robin that it was recently voted the nation's favorite bird and crowned our national bird in recognition. This, the original rob- in, is (along with wheatears) in the Old World flycatcher family and is the species after which the American Robin, a thrush, is named. #2 • Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla This colorful and stripy little jewel is without doubt my favorite British pas - serine. It is also joint holder of the crown "smallest British bird", along with the Goldcrest; both # 5 # 4 # 6 Photo © Smudge 9000 Photo © Kev Chapman Photo © Adrian Silcox

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