News

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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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there