Wednesday, 11 December 2013

End of the (birding) world.

If the rumours are true, the next edition of the journal Birding World, will be the last.I can clearly remember the day that I was shown the first issue of Twitching, a small A5-sized publication that, as the title suggested, catered for the mushrooming population of twitchers.Those of us who were twitchers, had an interest in scarce migrants, rare birds or the art of identification, were immediately hooked. Until then, apart from the worthy, but dry British Birds, there was no competitor - thus Twitching took off. It was soon renamed Birding World and soared even higher. It was the 'must read' publication for the birder.Ground-breaking identification papers and stunning photography kept the magazine in pole position for a number of years.

I gave up my subscription a few years ago. Why? Because I became fed up with the diet of gulls and geese that was being served. Maybe they were cutting edge subjects, but small geese and intermediate gulls bored me after a while. I don't know why the publication is being closed. Financial reasons? - print is a dying medium we are told. Internet competition? - Birding Frontiers (the people who brought us BOOM!) is a free identification resource and forum. Whatever the reason, it deserves a virtual pat on the back for being there during an exciting time in the evolution of birding and bird identification.I used to look forward to it falling onto the doormat every month, and there weren't many things that the postman brought back then that I could say that about.

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