Stephen Moss in the Guardian has put together this useful list of his favourite birdwatching spots in the UK: everything from huge flocks of geese, wild seabird colonies, red kites, rare birds, avocets and home-counties bird fairs. He recommends Caerlaverock, Castle Espie (“the perfect introduction to this avian wonderland”), Exe estuary (a boat trip is the ideal way to experience these wild creatures where they really belong), Farne Islands (“Watch puffins loafing around their burrow entrances, get mobbed by terns, and enjoy a chorus of kittiwakes calling out their name – simply unforgettable”), Gigrin Farm, Isles of Scilly, Loch Garten, Minsmere. Rutland Waterand Slimbridg.
Scientists are fitting puffins with hi-tech tracking tags to try and understand why the number of puffins on the Farne Islands, one of the most important colonies in Britain, has mysteriously dropped by some 30%. Puffin numbers are down from 55,674 in 2003 to 36,500. The Farne Islands are home to the largest puffin colony in England.