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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Ageing and Sexing of Asian Chats

It is rare that I get excited about identification papers these days as much of the information is either regurgitated or irrelevant but I must say that when I recently received on my desk the latest September 2009 edition of the journal British Birds I was most impressed.

Paul J Leader has produced a brilliant article on the ''Ageing and sexing of Asian chats'' (BB 102: 482-493) detailing the moult strategy and ageing criteria of four fairly closely related vagrants to Britain - the Siberian Rubythroat, Siberian Blue Robin, Rufous-tailed Robin and now annually occurring Red-flanked Bluetail. The paper is very well laid-out, written in a style that is easily understandable and liberally illustrated with a first-rate choice of full colour and accurately-reproduced photographs. It is absolutely brilliant and I must commend Paul for this outstanding and highly educational and well overdue synopsis.

Paul brings together in the 12 pages his wealth of knowledge and experience gleaned from his many years now in the Far East and he utilises his vast library of in-hand photographs to illustrate and highlight the salient pointers enabling for an identification and ageing process to be safely worked out in the field

This will be one issue of British Birds that I shall be forever browsing - this is a 'must-have' addition. Excellent stuff (Lee G R Evans)

For details of subscriptions or to obtain this particular issue, email Hazel Jenner on subscriptions@britishbirds.co.uk