News

The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Letter: Celebrated swamp

Sir: Simon Calder (The Traveller, 4 December) described the beach at Cairns in Queensland as "a tidal mudflat that looks plain swampy."

Top bird-watcher in world killed dies in bus crash

THE WORLD'S most famous bird-watcher, a globetrotting American woman who ticked off more species in her notebook than anyone else, has been killed in a road accident during a birding expedition.

Letter: Garden killers

Sir: Lucy Lawrence (Letter, 22 November) is right. Magpies hunt in groups of six or more hereabouts. Not only have bird boxes been broached and tits, robins and their fledglings eaten and blackbird nests similarly pillaged, but garden chairs have been torn into to remove stuffing and a tarred felt roof punctured in attempts to get at fledglings nesting under the eaves. They have multiplied remorselessly to harry and oust more welcome species, as well as damaging property. Who decides when a bird species no longer needs protection?

Twitchers flock to `bird sighting of the year'

BIRDWATCHERS FROM all over the country are flocking to a village on the Aberdeenshire coast to see a wading bird never before recorded in Britain.

Defiant Davies says: `I am bisexual'

THE FORMER Welsh Secretary Ron Davies yesterday said he was determined to carry on serving his constituents and the people of Wales, after admitting he was bisexual.

Frigatebird crash-lands at seaside rescue for frigatebird

A SPECTACULAR tropical seabird is being nursed back to health at a secret location after crash-landing in British waters. It is the first time one of the birds has survived the journey from the Caribbean.

Real living: Love and brothel creepers

Teddy boy shoes, especially when worn without socks, are much more to Deborah Levy than mere footwear; they represent beauty and truth, and the knowledge that love is fleeting

Property: Hot Spot - Clifton downs - Hip, sharp and Bristol fashion

DOCKLANDS VERSUS Clifton? Clifton versus Docklands? Restricting options to these admittedly obvious alternatives is unnecessarily narrow and ultimately self-defeating.

Rowing: Redgrave still needs challenge

BRITAIN FINISHED third in the medal table at the close of the World Rowing Championships in Cologne yesterday but with no additions to the three golds and one silver taken on Saturday. The team performance was, as for the past 14 years, underpinned by the achievements of Stephen Redgrave, who added an eighth World gold to his four Olympic successes, this time with coxless four partners, Tim Foster, James Cracknell and Matthew Pinsent.

Travel: Scything through the seaside

Windsurfing is not as tricky as you might think. Eric Kendall catches the coastal breeze

New bird found in Ecuador jungle

ROBERT RIDGELY was hiking down an Ecuadorean mountain path last November when he and a fellow ornithologist heard a strange call akin to an owl's hoot and a dog's bark.

Rural: Where there's muck...there's beaks.

Malcolm Smith reports from the nation's sewage farms, where all kinds of birds are circling and salivating

Science: A wing and a prayer

Extinction beckons for over 1,000 bird species, and it seems nature wants it that way, Peter Bennett investigates

Leading Article: Stop sitting on the fence, Tony, and stand up for townies

BRITAIN is an urban country. Its wealth is generated in towns and cities; there most of its people live and there they form their identity. Yet for them, still, the "countryside" is a strong and attractive idea. The reality is hugely mixed. For townspeople, it offers leisure. The native industry, agriculture, is one that pollutes and destroys. Large tracts of the country landscape are half-built, neither identifiably rural nor urban. Within the countryside there is a great diversity of forms of life. Is a village most of whose inhabitants decamp to the nearby town to shop and work and go to school country? Is a topography cherished and paid for by the tax money of townies really classifiable as rural?

Obituary: J. G. Williams

John George Williams, naturalist: born Cardiff 4 April 1913; Curator of Birds, Coryndon Museum, Nairobi 1946-66; married 1945 Dr Philippa Gaffikin (one son, three daughters); died Leicester 28 December 1997.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee