The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Twitching to see eagles and egg


how to get a pay rise: what the experts say

Dr Terry Kellard, organisational psychologist, Warwick Consultants:

Letter: Spoken English

From Ms Ruth Clarke

Geared up for some serious twitching

This is a big weekend for birdwatchers - not such a rare breed. Willy Newlands explains

Birds of a feather flock to British wildlife reserves

Two birdwatchers focusing their binoculars in preparation for what is expected to be the world's largest gathering of ornithologists this weekend.

`Toxic' bird has science in a flutter

Tabubil, Papua New Guinea (Reuter) - Ornithologists are quietly confident they have found a second poisonous bird in the rainforests of north-western Papua New Guinea - the variable pitohui.

Birdwatchers twitchy over marsh battle

Conflict between leisure and conservation threatens to disturb the natural order on the Norfolk coast. James Cusick reports


I COULDN'T raise myself for the National Dawn Chorus vigil earlier this month - though dawn is still the best time to hear birds singing ensemble, sending out their first-call signs for the new day. But listening from the garden at a more civilised hour, there was still plenty of carolling, even from newly-arrived summer migrants: a cuckoo calling from the allotments, a chiffchaff lisping in a neighbour's shrubbery. And there were plenty of common garden natives, too: chaffinches making their brisk, simple flourishes - almost identical in each bird, yet with local dialects in every part of Britain; song thrushes, with their re-peated phrases of piercing clarity, a species reviving after being badly hit by gardeners' slug-bait.

Obituary: Ian Prestt

Someone once remarked that provided an Ian Prestt came along once in a while there was a modicum of hope for the human species. For here was a man of total integrity, with a simple philosophy of spending his life doing good, worthwhile things in t he natural world.

Birds' egg society faces inquiry

THE Charity Commission is considering an investigation into the Jourdain Society, a group of birds' eggs enthusiasts which conservationists claim is used as a network by illegal egg collectors, writes Mary Braid.

Letter: The Birds of Great Britain have flown

Sir: Whatever may be the loss to the nation occasioned by the break-up of the Godman Collection of watercolours for John Gould's The Birds of Great Britain (Letters, 8 October), it is as nothing compared to the loss of the birds themselves.

Egg society denies aiding nest thefts: An obscure group named after a Victorian clergyman is accused of acting as a front for illegal collectors who damage rare species

BRITAIN'S biggest police operation against collectors of wild birds' eggs, which resulted last week in 11,000 eggs being seized, has turned the spotlight on an obscure society which conservationists claimis an egg-collectors' contacts network.

An existential moment with nature

A WALK in the park or a holiday in the wilderness gives people those 'existential moments' that make them happier, more confident and less stressed, according to a new report. It also improves their performance at work, writes David Nicholson-Lord.

Obituary: Lord Revelstoke

LORD REVELSTOKE also had a remarkable eye for photography, writes Ferdy Carabott (further to the obituary by Louis Jebb, 20 July). I had the pleasure of collaborating with him in the forthcoming book on Lambay, sifting through hundreds of his photographs taken with great craftsmanship. He was equally proficient with portraits, architecture and animals. He amazed professional bird photographers with his ability to approach his subjects at very close quarters without use of a hide. Rupert Revelstoke's very first photograph, taken at the age of 12, shows Edwin Lutyens and Augustus John dancing a jig together.

RADIO / An unpleasant twitch: Robert Hanks' patience is tested by Maureen Lipman's wit

There are two kinds of twitcher. The first kind is the birdwatcher who has tipped over the edge into obsession, and will go anywhere, offend anybody simply to have a new species on his personal list; this is the kind discussed this week by Maureen Lipman in a new series of 'social investigations', The Lipman Test (Radio 4, Thursday). The other kind is the person who has been irritated into minor spasms by 30 minutes of listening to Lipman's laboured quips.
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