I have a great affection for Birdwatch magazine. First, they pay me to sound off about whatever is on my mind at the time and that is just completely lovely of them! Second, they put a Hen Harrier on the cover of the August issue with the headline ‘Stop killing our harriers’ and have been great supporters of the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting. But it’s just generally a very good magazine for the thoughtful birder. Birdwatch has a whole stable of talented birders and talented writers. One person who qualifies on both counts is Mark Cocker and I always read his pieces several times because they are worth it. And his article in the December issue is, as ever, well worth reading and thinking about.
Every issue has great photographs of birds, common birds and rare birds, and I always learn some identification tips which I then promptly forget or, if I remember them, never have the opportunity to use. This issue has just stunning images of Eastern Crowned Warblers and Rough-legged Buzzards.
But I always read my own column, ‘the political birder’, as soon as my copy of Birdwatch arrives – partly to remind myself of what I wrote several weeks earlier and partly to see what images have been inserted alongside the text. This issue has my column talking about the Rally for Nature on 9 December.
After reading my column, I turned the page and found myself in familiar territory – an excellent 4-page article entitled ‘Getting away with murder‘ about grouse moor management written anonymously by a raptor worker. It’s understandable that it is anonymous because this guy clearly has to deal with gamekeepers quite a lot and it is an excellent summary of what is happening up in the hills from an insider’s perspective. Please read it and then come to the same conclusion as the author – please sign the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting.
It is a fascinating read – but you’ll have to buy it for yourself to find out.[registration_form]