18th January 2014 – Last ever ‘Birding World’ & a Mandt’s Black Guillemot in Cumbria…

Sad times. The very last issue of Birding World dropped through my letterbox this week. Killed by the internet, it seems a real shame that this superb publication is no more. Aimed at the serious birder and twitcher, it was always an educational and fascinating read. I subscribed to it in the 90’s when I was a completely nutty manic twitcher, well before we had instant access to photos of the latest rarities on t’internet. And I think that’s one of the very reasons that I rarely twitch a bird these days. Within hours of discovery usually there are dozens of images of the newest rarity, and now with HD movie footage and YouTube I can even sit back and watch the bird from the comfort of my settee. Definitely some of the magic of twitching has disappeared, the days when you weren’t exactly sure what the bird you were going to see would actually look like, the days when you had to wait for the monthly magazines to see the photos of the birds. And Birding World always had the very best photos, discussion and in-depth ID articles, there’s no doubt about that.

So it was nice when I had an email from Richard Millington asking me if they could use an image of the Black Guillemot taken last month on Talkin Tarn in the last ever issue…

Gone but not forgotten

Gone but not forgotten


And as the caption says, it would appear that this ‘form’ of Black Guillemot has never been recorded in Britain before – a Mandt’s Black Guillemot no less. Yeah I’d never heard of it either. As I said in my original post about the Black Guilly (see here), I thought that an inland record of the species was perhaps unique, but I would never have thought that it was a potential first for Britain that had travelled so far. But it is exactly that sort of attention to detail that Birding World has always excelled at, making birders aware of various ‘forms’ and potential splits, and without it this potential first for Britain would almost certainly have gone unnoticed. This magazine will surely be missed by the keener birders amongst us.

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2 Responses to 18th January 2014 – Last ever ‘Birding World’ & a Mandt’s Black Guillemot in Cumbria…

  1. neil says:

    Congratulations on your photo in the final publication, well done

  2. Carl Baggott says:

    Yes, it’s a great shame about Birding World. Interesting bird that Black Guillemot and well done getting the image in the last BW.

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