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A City Nature Reserve in Astana?

Guest blog by Stephanie Ward

Back in the spring, the RSPB was invited by the UK Embassy in Kazakhstan to work with the UK Department of Trade and Industry on a temporary exhibition at the World Expo 2017 held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan between June and September.
This opportunity has enabled us to promote how we work through the BirdLife partnership to

EI in the UAE: a story of one Great Knot

Earlier this year you may remember Dmitry Dorofev and Oscar Campbell wrote a guest blog about the sighting of a colour-ringed Great Knot observed in the United Arab Emirates. On 20 January 2017, Great Knot ‘EI’ was located and photographed amongst a small flock of 20 Great Knots, at Khor al Beida, some 8300km from where it was originally ringed in Kamchatka, Russia. This resighting is of particular interest as it is the first confirmation obtained that Great Knots staging in Kamchatka reach as far west as the Arabian Gulf.

Birds of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East – An Annotated Checklist. Dominic Mitchell. 2017. Lynx Edicions. Barcelona, Spain

Let’s cut to the chase. There are no pictures between the covers – this book contains data, the condensed relevant information that comprises the first comprehensive 21st-century checklist covering an updated and well-rationalised definition of the Western Palearctic bird checklist. Superficially, this is a book for data junkies who like birds, and yes, doubtless they will appreciate it for that reason. However, it is far more than that, for not only does this book deserve to sit on academics’ shelves, for once it has been examined closely, it also will appeal to those who are hooked on the way science uncovers mysteries and the way it often producing counter-intuitive results that disturb comfortable, long-held assumptions. 

A Birdwatcher's Guide to Madaba

Recent publication by Jordan Birdwatch Association (JBW) -  A Birdwatcher's Guide to Madaba written by Fares Khoury. This describes 15 sites in the Madaba region which comprises a variety of bird habitats and scenic landscapes overlooking the Dead Sea. Chapter headings include maps, site coordinates, accommodation details, habitat descriptions, systematic checklists as well as explaining why the Madaba region is a definite place for a birder to visit.

Fares is OSME Country Contact in Jordan and secretary of JBRC (Jordan Bird Records Committee) and provides regular reports for Sandgrouse.

Turkish Bird Records Committee

Kerem Ali Boyla reports that Turkish birdwatchers have set up a committee to assess claims of rare bird sightings.

The Turkish Bird Records Committee (TBRC) was formed in 2015. It is co-owner of the Turkish eBird Portal, together with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Doğa Derneği. The committee has acted as reviewers for the online Kusbank Bird Database in the past and is now fulfilling the same function for eBird Turkey.

The OSME Summer Meeting and 39th AGM

The OSME Summer Meeting and 39th AGM will be held at BTO Headquarters, Thetford, Norfolk on Saturday 1st July. Doors will open at 10.00am for members and non-members to meet old and new friends over coffee and cake. There is no charge for attending the summer meeting and non-members are most welcome. There is an exciting range of talks lined up focussing on bird conservation


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