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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Michael McCarthy: Winter of '63 battered evolution's defences

Nature Notebook: It was suggested that half the birds in Britain died

Record year for Britain's twitchers

Birds from Asia and US among highest number of species spotted in a single year

Leading article: New arrivals

Ever seen a yelkouan shearwater out by the seaside, or a citril finch on the garden birdtable? Almost certainly not. But you may do in future, for these are just a few of the new birds on our block. Spotted for the first time in Britain in 2008, their presence has now been verified by the British Rare Birds Committee.

Travel Agenda: Vinopolis; Zambezi Queen; Lumiere festival; Mandarin Oriental

Today: For the Caribbean closer to home, make for Vinopolis in London, where the Caribbean Tourism Organisation is hosting a showcase with food, music, drinks and an appearance by Levi Roots (caribbean.co.uk).

Asian visitor's debut sparks twitching tizzy

A tiny bit of China which turned up on Tyneside put British birdwatchers in a twitching tizzy today. They flocked in their hundreds to South Shields to try to catch a glimpse of an eastern crowned warbler, a bird never seen in Britain before.

Birdwatchers flock for for the punk puffin

One man ran straight off a football pitch. Two more drove 300 miles through the night while dozens of others simply dashed out of their offices with binoculars in hand. All had the same thing in mind – catching the first ever glimpse in Britain of a seabird with an eccentric hairstyle, an outsized beak and a very, very poor sense of direction.

Birdwatchers (La Terra Degli Uomini Rossi) (15)

Despairing of life on a reservation, a tribe of Guarani Indians set up camp in their ancestral Amazon hunting-grounds, now treeless farmland, and become entangled with the farmers.

Michael McCarthy: Lord God Bird is what dreams are made of

Nature Notebook: The birders were fascinating but the unfamiliar birds excited me even more

Bitterns boom in conservation success

Bird declared extinct in 1880 makes remarkable comeback

Narrow Water: Beauty spot falls silent for IRA victims

A hush descended over a Northern Ireland beauty spot yesterday as families and ex-servicemen marked the 30th anniversary of an IRA double bombing which claimed the lives of 18 soldiers and a civilian.

Charity scours globe in search of long-lost birds

BirdLife International in bid to discover whether 'missing' species are in fact extinct

Masters and Commanders, By Andrew Roberts

Exceptional in both research and thundering narrative, this revealing book tells the story of the four key players on the Allied side in the Second World War.

Eric Simms

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Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
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Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
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footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Grandvalira Skiing, Andorra
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples
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All Inclusive Lanzarote
Five-star Sharm El Shiekh Holiday
Prices correct as of 31 October 2014
Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
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A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities